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Opportunity: Demonstration of an experimental 5G g-NodeB in space

This activity will study the implementation of spaceborne 5G regenerative functions in a 5G end-to-end system demonstration incorporating a space segment element.  For that purpose, the activity will develop and demonstrate in orbit an experimental 5G g-NodeB (gNB) distributed between a regenerative payload and a satellite gateway for eMBB services. The experimental gNB will be based on the 5G New Radio Non-Terrestrial Network (NR-NTN) 3GPP standard.
This innovative opportunity allows for the exploration of an uncharted territory, which is beyond existing standards and will allow to better understand the challenges and benefits of the different possible regenerative architectures, contributing to the definition of the satellite functions in future releases of the 3GPP standards.

Opportunity: The Application of Neuromorphic Processors to SatCom Applications


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to play a major role in the automation of future satcom systems, enabled by the significant advances in Machine Learning (ML) techniques of recent years. However, the computer processors that AI algorithms will run on have not developed at the same pace, potentially limiting, or delaying the benefits foreseen.

Opportunity: Digital Transformation and Green Economy Thematic Call

The Thematic Call, in line with ESA’s strategy and the Director General’s Agenda 2025, targets to boost commercialisation for a Digital and Green Europe, by fostering the development of digital technologies, products and applications targeted by the European Green Deal. 

Space data accelerates transition to electric cars

A free app that helps people explore the benefits of switching to an electric vehicle has launched. Released by UK company EV8 Technologies, the EV8 Switch app uses space data to log motorists’ journeys and then displays how much money could be saved by swapping their conventional car for an electric one.

First W-band transmission from space

On 30 June 2021, the first-ever satellite with a W-band radio transmitter on board was launched. The objective of the mission, funded under the ARTES Advanced Technology programme, is to improve our understanding of the atmospheric effects in the propagation of radio signals at such a high frequency band. The mission’s success will help pave the way for future operational telecom services in W-band.

Space-based connectivity comes another step closer

A world in which people can connect to one another instantly and reliably through space-enabled laser communications has just come closer. A study has now identified how to create high-speed broadband in space.

Using lasers to communicate helps speed the flow of information to people around the world, as well as improving the privacy of messages.

Satellites for 5G to connect delivery vans seamlessly

A vehicle that remains continuously connected even when in remote areas is being road tested in Cornwall in the south west of the UK.

The test vehicle will use ubiquitous communications technology to switch seamlessly between 5G and satellite networks as required. The technology was developed by Darwin Innovation Group, in collaboration with mobile telephone operator Virgin Media O2, satellite operator Hispasat, cloud data company Amazon Web Services, the UK Space Agency and ESA.