Launched in 2021, "Innovation for Downstream Preparation" (I4DP) is the ASI program that aims to promote the demonstration development (through use cases and pilot projects) of innovative value-added services based on the use of Telecommunication (TLC), Navigation (NAV) and Earth Observation (OT) satellite systems, including combined synergistically and, where and as needed, integrated with non-space data and services. The aim is to prepare next-generation downstream services and promote the full utilization of national and European space systems, operational or under development.

I4DP_SCIENCE is the channel aimed at Scientific Users and consists of periodic thematic Call for ideas for joint projects with Universities and Public Research Institutions aimed at:

  • Development of applications based on new methods and algorithms for analyzing satellite and/or geospatial data
  • Training of medium- to high-skilled personnel capable of working in different application areas

As part of the First Call for ideas dedicated to the theme of "Sustainable Cities," a project has been launched with the Institute for the Study of Nanostructured Materials (ISMN) of the National Research Council (CNR) on the theme of "Eco-sustainability of human settlements: satellite and ground-based sensor analysis complemented by artificial intelligence, for the protection of surface water (EcoNet)." The University of Rome Tor Vergata (UTOV) is also participating in the project as a partner.

EcoNet involves the development of an integrated sensor-driven system for monitoring surface water on which human settlements insist.

EcoNet's integrated tele-diagnostics system, whose data are managed with artificial intelligence, aims to identify early changes in the natural state of water that may pose a threat to aquatic ecosystems. EcoNet thus contributes to the preservation of the natural heritage surrounding human settlement spaces in order to make them environmentally sustainable, more efficient and livable. After all, the monitoring of surface water is a fundamentally important aspect for the eco-sustainability of urban settlements and for ensuring the sustainable development of peri-urban agro-livestock related to them.

The EcoNet partnership is demonstrating the effectiveness of integrating estimates from optical multi- and hyperspectral satellite images, the latter acquired by the ASI PRISMA mission, with measurements acquired through ground-based sensor systems, foremost among them the CNR-ISMN patented "Snoop" system.

Introductory slides to the I4DP_SCIENCE program

Introductory slides to the EcoNet project

Over the past three months, EcoNet project activities have entered the thick of experimentation, validation and demonstration of mapping products generated from satellite imagery (Figure 1). In particular, targeted sampling was carried out according to a regular schedule in the test areas of the Regional Nature Reserve 'Selva del Lamone' and Regional Nature Reserve 'Nazzano Tevere-Farfa' (Figure 2) in Lazio and Lake Piediluco in Umbria-all three Natura 2000 Network Sites. The technical visits were also an opportunity for initial interaction with the managing bodies of the nature reserves in order to understand how the integrated products generated in EcoNet can help in the management of this valuable natural heritage.

In anticipation of holding the mid-term meeting scheduled for September, ASI, CNR-ISMN and UTOV presented the integrated methodology and initial analytical activities of the EcoNet project at the IGARSS 2023 international conference in Pasadena, Calif.

In-depth information and further updates on EcoNet project activities can be found on the project website:

For more information about the I4DP_SCIENCE program and the EcoNet project, contact:

Deodato Tapete, ASI Process Manager:

Giorgio Licciardi, ASI Project Manager:

Roberto Dragone, ISMN-CNR Project Manager:

Figure 1. Example of an anomaly detection map derived from a Sentinel-2 multispectral image.

Figure 2. Water sample collection activities at points of interest and satellite monitoring at the 'Nazzano Tevere-Farfa' Regional Nature Reserve.


Top: The Nazzano Tevere-Farfa Reserve, one of the Natura 2000 Network sites that ASI and CNR-ISMN are monitoring with PRISMA satellite data in the EcoNet project.