ESA announces dedicated support for the development of megaconstellations

<small>Created with <em><a href="" title="Satellite Visualization software from The Geometry Center" > SaVi</a></em>.</small>Megaconstellations are one of the biggest challenges in the satellite communications business today. These large networks of inexpensive, mass-produced satellites operating in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) are poised to offer major breakthroughs in low-cost broadband capacity and other services. New megaconstellations initiatives, such as OneWeb and LeoSat, are set to shake up the telecoms industry, pressuring equipment suppliers to dramatically reduce costs and increase delivery rates.

To ensure that the European and Canadian space industry remains competitive in the face of what could be a major transformation of the satcoms industry, ESA has established the ARTES 3-4 Megaconstellations Opportunity. Recognizing the urgency of the matter and the tight development schedules that will be required as well as the very high stakes involved, a new dedicated ARTES 3-4 Call for Proposals will be announced in the coming weeks which will run until June 2016.

“While the technologies that will be developed through the ARTES 3-4 Megaconstellations Opportunity are first and foremost intended to improve short-term prospects in the rapidly evolving world of LEO megaconstellations, we also believe that the capabilities thus acquired may be beneficial to other application areas, such as Earth observation and satellite navigation, as well as for other orbits such as Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) and even Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO),” said Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA.

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Published 31 July 2015
Last updated at 02 February 2016 - 09:30