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ESA helps start-ups reach for the stars

Four entrepreneurial small companies have won the chance to learn from senior figures at ESA and satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space, following an ESA-backed competition.

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.