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First leap for beam-hopping constellation

Broadband satellites that can be completely repurposed while in orbit have just taken a leap forwards.

Beam-hopping satellites can switch which region of the world they cover – and vary the data volume and rates for each region – according to demand.

Reprogrammable satellite design finalised

The design for a series of telecommunications satellites that can be completely repurposed after launch has just been completed.

The standardised OneSat satellites for the highly competitive global commercial telecommunications market are software defined and fully reprogrammable in orbit. They are being developed as an ESA Partnership Project with manufacturer Airbus.

ESAIL captures two million messages from ships at sea

The ESAIL microsatellite for making the seas safer has picked up more than two million messages from 70 000 ships in a single day.

The reliable high-performance satellite was developed as an ESA Partnership Project to help European and Canadian space companies succeed in the competitive global telecommunications market.

How ESA helps South Africa share water fairly

Clustered at the edge of the Crocodile River in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, stand thousands of farms and small holdings growing fresh fruit and sugar cane. Water to irrigate the crops is taken from the river, but this slows its flow rate and leaves less for those downstream.

Wi-Fi on planes boosted by satellite constellation

Flight passengers will soon be able to connect to their families and colleagues on Earth via low-orbit telecommunications satellites. They will develop in-flight connectivity terminals that will work over OneWeb’s constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites, as well as on geostationary satellite networks. OneWeb currently has 110 satellites in orbit but foresees a constellation of about 650.

Josef Aschbacher is new ESA Director General

Josef Aschbacher became the ESA Director General on 1 March 2021.

Born in Austria, Josef Aschbacher studied at the University of Innsbruck, graduating with a Master’s and a Doctoral degree in natural sciences. He became a research scientist at the university’s Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics from 1985 to 1989.

Deal signed to boost secure satellite communications

Disruptive services and innovative features of the next generation of secure satellite communications will be analysed following the signing of a new memorandum of understanding. The agreement extends the cooperation between ESA and the European Defence Agency (EDA), an EU body that promotes and facilitates integration between member states within the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy.

GRASP: seizing the benefits of a single antenna design tool

Reflector antennas are by far the most used technology for telecom satellite and ground station antennas. TICRA, a leading provider of cutting-edge reflector antenna modelling software based in Copenhagen, has now under the ARTES programme made great strides in antenna design – with a product that dramatically simplifies the whole process.