ARTES 4.0 Call For Ideas


This is an invitation to submit ideas for long-term preliminary studies and technology development-related activities. To submit ideas, you are requested to fill in a limited questionnaire using the

ARTES 4.0 Call For Ideas - online form

The Call For Ideas (CFI) is issued to gather valuable input from the satellite communication industry and experts to help ESA establish relevant work plans for the Future Preparation and Advanced Technology elements of the Advanced Research In Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme to meet future satellite communication needs.

In 2015 there was an evolution of the ARTES program. ARTES 5.1 has been renamed ARTES Advanced Technology and ARTES 1 has been renamed ARTES Future Preparation. In addition greater flexibility is given to industry to propose innovative solutions to the technical challenges identified by ESA.

New ideas for ARTES Future Preparation studies or ARTES Advanced Technology development will be assessed for their:

  • innovation, credibility and feasibility,
  • commercial, strategic and technological relevance,
  • performance impacts at sub-system or system level
  • direct or indirect business opportunity for the ARTES Member States’ industry

The Call for Ideas is continuously open on the ESA ARTES web site.

The ARTES Future Preparation and the ARTES ScyLight work plans are continuously updated based on the ideas received.

The ARTES Advanced Technology work plan is updated yearly. Ideas for inclusion into the next work plan should be submitted during the first quarter of the year. The idea submission cut-off date for the next work plan is posted on this web-page.

All ideas and suggestions are welcome and will be carefully assessed taking into account the adequacy of the proposed idea with respect to the objectives of ARTES. This may require the need to contact the idea proponent for clarifications.

To submit ideas, it is requested to fill in a questionnaire using the ARTES 4.0 Call For Ideas - online form. In addition, it is encouraged to elaborate the description of the idea through the submission of supporting documentation (see online-form). A set of guidelines has been prepared for the ARTES Advanced Technology and ARTES Future Preparation to help with the preparation and submission of the ideas.

ARTES Future Preparation addresses preliminary studies and investigations

The ARTES Future Preparation work plan is continuously updated based on the ideas received. There is no idea submission cut-off date for the work plan. ARTES Future Preparation addresses in particular:

(a) Supporting the definition of ESA's telecommunications strategy and its impact on European and Canadian industry. This includes specific market research, identification of the cost benefit analysis of introducing satellite communication services for specific use, analysis of the legal or regulatory environment and monitoring of the execution of the ARTES programme.

(b) The next generation of telecommunication satellite systems and the associated development roadmaps including in orbit demonstration or validation. Based on the identification of potentially new markets or the need to propose new services on existing markets, system studies may be performed to identify the main performances that can be expected, the benefits of introducing new technologies and the associated roadmaps that would be necessary to introduce these new systems.

(c) The integration of satellite networks with terrestrial ones. Satellite telecommunication networks are to be integrated with terrestrial networks that contribute to more than 95 per cent of the total revenues of the sectors. A satisfactory integration level needs to be guaranteed at user, service provider or network operator level.

(d) The support of standardisation activities through the involvement of special interest groups. Access to spectrum and the development of adequate interoperable standards are essential for the widest implementation of the solutions proposed by the European industry.

ARTES Advanced Technology focuses on research and development of new technologies and techniques

The ARTES Advanced Technology work plan is updated yearly. The idea submission cut-off date for the
2022 ARTES Advanced Technology work plan is
  12th February 2021, Midnight (CET) 


The development of a product for satellite communication involves a number of product development steps. At each step a higher level of technical and commercial maturity is achieved. This implies that technical and commercial risks are reduced as the development progresses. ARTES Advanced Technology supports the early steps of product development: the design phase and the verification testing phase. Formal qualification and industrialisation are not supported under this element but under ARTES Competiveness and Growth (Industry initiated). By ensuring the long-term readiness of products, industry will be able to prepare for future commercial or institutional opportunities. The following areas are targeted:

  • Telecommunication systems (e.g. end-to-end satcom systems, security, network protocols, propagation, resource management, air interfaces),
  • Platform (e.g. system and architecture, propulsion sub-system, AOCS, thermal control, mechanical sub system, power sub-system)
  • Payload (e.g. system and architecture, antenna, repeater equipment and data handling)
  • Ground segment (e.g. satellite ground equipment and support, network, operations control and gateway, operations and mission control, user terminals)

Activities in the ARTES Future Preparation and ARTES Advanced Technology elements receive 100% funding and contractors are selected through competitive open invitation to tenders (ITT).


ScyLight ("skylight") is the ARTES element dedicated to Optical Communication Technologies. Through it, ESA aims to elaborate a technology roadmap for optical communication technologies, undertaken in close coordination and cooperation with all stakeholders involved: industry, operators, service providers, satellite manufactures, research institutes and other experts in the field.

The ARTES ScyLight work plan is continuously updated based on the ideas received. There is no idea submission cut-off date for the work plan. ARTES ScyLight implementation is organised in four thematic lines of which lines 1 and 4 are considered in this call for ideas.

Line 1: Common System and Technologies Activities

Line 1 covers ESA-initiated market and system studies including optical transmission/propagation studies, as well as ESA coordination of user and expert groups (i.e. satellite primes, operators, service providers, industry) to define the roadmap and derive ESA ITTs. This Line also covers ESA-initiated development activities on critical and commonly required components and their validation, evaluation and in-orbit verification, and supports coordination efforts with standardization bodies.

Line 4: Quantum Cryptography Technologies

Line 4 is dedicated to Quantum Cryptography technologies and covers the related development as well as in-orbit and service demonstration, including Quantum Key Generation and Distribution systems, and the demonstration of related end-to-end systems.