The Project has been organised in eight Work Packages, the objective of which was to analyse major issues for the implementation and commercialisation of the EDRS system in the following areas:
- Mission Definition in terms of the potential services and service requirements;
- The regulatory framework and particularly the analysis of frequency options for the implementation of different missions;
- The link budget analysis with a particular focus on the trade-off between different performance parameters and elements of the system architecture (antenna size, mass, power etc);
- The payload architecture together with mass and power budgets, differentiating for each potential mission;
- A coverage analysis looking at visibility issues for LEO (Low Earth Orbit) orbits;
- A payload accommodation analysis;
- The system architecture options together with corresponding costs;
- Commercial aspects and possible schemes of co-operation with ESA as well as satellite industry.
The EDRS Service Provider study provided inputs towards one of the main objectives of the EDRS program which is to achieve cost efficiency. For this purpose, possible schemes of co-operation have been proposed between ESA and the EDRS satellite operator, identifying potential financial contributions from the two parties.
Other key issues addressed through the study were the service delivery role model as well as the system operational aspects. Both these elements are key to the program as the system is introducing a new type of service for the European industry.
An identification of critical technology to be developed in the time-frame of the program, has also been performed
The Service Provider Study has contributed into the initial stages of the EDRS program by addressing key issues for its implementation. The EDRS system will allow providing near-real-time information from Earth Observation and security missions, improving their quality. These are science enabling missions of scientific as well as human value.
In addition, effort has been put into how EDRS can provide fast communication services in support of the main European space programmes such as GMES or the European Guaranteed Access to Space (EGAS), thereby increasing European independency for these strategic services.
The EDRS system includes the space segment, the ground and the user segment:
- The space segment for the Baseline Architecture scenario includes two data relay piggy-back payloads and a dedicated satellite including a data relay payload and a data dissemination/repatriation payload. All three payloads include the optical terminal for the inter-satellite links (ISL) mainly for transferring data from the SENTINEL satellites. Additionally two of the three payloads also include a bidirectional link at Ka-band, mainly for communicating with the ISS.
- The ground segment includes various elements amongst which the communication gateways or hubs, the EDRS Mission and Operation Centre, the EDRS Satellite Control Centre, the GMES Data Dissemination reception terminals as well as the TCR ground facilities.
- The user segment includes the ISL terminals on-board the user platform, for example, the LCT (Laser Communication Terminal) on-board SENTINEL.
During the EDRS Service Provider Study, effort was initially put into the Definition of the EDRS mission (WP 100) and for the Analysis of Possible Options in terms of the regulatory framework (WP200). This work was fed into WP300 which was the Preliminary Link Budget Analysis and in the Coverage Analysis (WP500).
WP300 provided the inputs for the payload mass and power budget assessment (WP400). On the basis of WP300 and WP400 an analysis of possible approaches for Payload Accommodation was performed in WP600.
In parallel to these work packages examining the technical aspects of the system, an investigation was conducted on possible schemes of co-operation with ESA and European Industry (WP800). The preliminary business model produced for WP800 was supported by the system architecture cost analysis performed in WP700.
The EDRS: Service Provider Study was completed in Q4 2008.