Frequently Asked Questions

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Please find a selection of Freqently Asked Questions listed below. Do not hesitate to contact us directly should you require additional information.

General questions

An application is a specific utilisation area of interest for a user. A service is an implementation of the application necessary to make it available and to provide support to the user.

In the frame of IAP, an industry is defined as an entity which can be involved in the service either as part of its development or as part of its provision. Most often it means space industry.

In the scope of IAP, SATCOM-APPS and USER-DRIVEN MISSIONS, a user is defined as an entity whose needs can be covered with a service provided by a third party. By means of this, a commercial agreement is established between the user and the provider of the service.

A user can be a:

  • person who represents  a user group
  • company which provides a service or a product reseller
  • public organisation: e.g. government agency, public authority, club, international organisation, etc.

 

EMITS (Electronic Mail Invitation to Tender System): This ESA system makes available the list of open and intended ITT's through an internet based web application.

The esa-star – ESA’s System for Tendering And Registration – application, including its Entity Registration facility replaces the “Industry Outlook” component of EMITS.

Registration on esa-star is mandatory for all entities not yet registered as potential tenderers, wishing to do business with ESA.

Go to esa-star: https://esastar-emr.sso.esa.int/

The ARTES  Satcom Applications (SATCOM-APPS) programme has been created to support applications projects related to satellite telecommunications either originated by industry or in response to specific applications calls initiated by ESA. It aims to improve the competitive position of industry in ESA member states in the field of satellite telecommunications and in their associated utilisation.

ARTES IAP is ESA's Integrated Applications Promotion programme. ARTES consists of a wide number of activities. For its broad scope, the ARTES programme has been subdivided in different elements that correspond to different programmatic declarations according to the specific purpose they intend to serve. ARTES IAP is one of them.

The TIA Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme enables European and Canadian industry to explore, through research and development (R&D) activities, innovative concepts to produce leading-edge satcom products and services. ARTES offers varying degrees of support to projects with different levels of operational and commercial maturity. The scope and plans for its pursuit are incorporated into the Telecommunications Long-Term Plan (TLTP), the blueprint for ESA's actions over a five-year time frame.

Businesses located within ESA member states involved in the satcom industry - whether small or large, new or experienced - can submit  proposals via the various elements of the ARTES programme.  Every ARTES element includes a funding framework and follows certain criteria that must be met by satcom companies wishing to participate.

At the JCB meeting on 17 December, 2015, it was announced that many of the programme elements were renamed. The current and previous names of the ARTES elements are:

  • Future Preparations (previously ARTES 1 Preparatory) is dedicated to strategic analysis, market analysis, technology and system feasibility studies and to the support of satellite communication standards.
  • Competitiveness & Growth (previously ARTES 3-4 Products) is dedicated to the development, qualification, and demonstration of products. The word product in this case has a wide meaning; it can be a piece of equipment, either of the platform or payload of a satellite, it can also be a user terminal or a full telecom system integrating a network with its respective space segment. Telecommunication applications can also be undertaken under the terms of this element.
  • Advanced Technology (previously ARTES 5 Technology) is dedicated to long-term technological development, either based on ESA’s initiative, or on the initiative of the satcom industry.
  • European Data Relay Satellite System (EDRS) (previously ARTES 7 EDRS) is dedicated to the development and implementation of an European Data Relay Satellite (EDRS) system. Data relay satellites are satellites placed in geostationary orbit to relay information to/from non-geostationary satellites, spacecraft, other vehicles and fixed Earth stations, which otherwise are not able to permanently transmit/receive data.
  • Large Platform Mission (LPM) (previously ARTES 8 Alphabus/Alphasat) is dedicated to the development and deployment of Alphasat, the first unit of the Alphabus Platform jointly developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space. Launched in July 2013, Alphasat is operated by Inmarsat. It incorporates innovative on-board processing technology and promotes development of novel user services.
  • Satellite Communication for Air Traffic Management (Iris) (previously ARTES 10 Iris) is a satellite-based communication system that will be part of an air traffic management system currently being developed under the SESAR programme of the EU, by Eurocontrol and the European Aeronautical community.
  • Small Geostationary Satellite (SGEO) (previously ARTES 11 Small GEO) is a telecommunications satellite platform capable of accommodating a wide range of commercial payloads and missions, from TV broadcasting to multimedia applications, Internet access and mobile or fixed services in a wide range of frequency bands. SmallGEO's new, modular and flexible design will boost European industry’s ability to play a significant role in commercial satcoms by easing entry into the lower mass class telecom satellite market.
  • Next Generation Platform (NEOSAT) (previously ARTES 14 Neosat) is a specific element dedicated to developing the “Next Generation Platform”, in partnership with industry. The programme is specifically aimed at developing, and demonstrating in orbit, new satellite platform product lines for 3 to 6 tonne geostationary satellites.
  • Integrated Applications Promotion (previously ARTES 20 IAP) is dedicated to the development, implementation and pilot operations of Integrated Applications. These are applications of space systems that combine different types of satellites, such as telecommunications, earth observation and navigation. Integrated Application projects offer solutions that range from secure transport systems to developing emergency/disaster management systems.
  • Satellite – Automatic Identification System (SAT-AIS) (previously ARTES 21 SAT-AIS) The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a short range coastal tracking system currently used on ships. It was developed to provide identification and position information to vessel and shore stations. Space-based, or SAT-AIS will provide AIS data via satellite, allowing for the detection of seafaring vessels equipped with AIS tracking devices.
  • ARTES 33 Partner is a new programme element to provide the satcom industry with an efficient framework to bring innovative products and systems into the marketplace through industry-generated public–private partnerships.

The Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) programme is developing a range of new applications by using and integrating different available space assets, resulting in viable services for the benefit of society.To achieve this, the following objectives have been defined:

  • Promotion of space applications to a wider range of users, especially to those who are not aware of the benefits space technologies can bring to them;
  • Development of new operational and economically sustainable  services for these users;
  • Utilisation of at least two existing and different space assets (such as Satellite Communications, Earth Observation, Satellite Navigation, Human Spaceflight technologies and others), leading to a better exploitation of existing space capacity and know-how.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. For more information please visit the ESA Homepage.

Specific questions

You may respond to the ARTES IAP Open Call for Proposals or the ARTES SATCOM-APPS Open Call for Proposals at any time or follow-up on Invitations to Tender through our opportunities section.

The ARTES Applications Newsletter provides regular email updates and information regarding the latest IAP and SATCOM-APPS news & events, project information, as well as opportunity announcements.

You can contact us through:

If you are a service provider willing to enlarge or improve your current portfolio, you can get in touch with us to discuss how space technology can help you through our email address artes-apps@esa.int or using the contact form. You are also welcome to attend ARTES Applications/ Ambassador Platform events and workshops for information and match-making.

The aim of IAP is to ensure that your needs will be satisfied by providing the most cost effective service. ESA IAP will analyse the current available solutions (i.e. products and services) and integrate them in services tailored to your needs. The types of projects funded through IAP are:

  • Feasibility Study: devoted to provide the preparatory framework to identify, analyse and define these new services. Special effort will be spent in the investigation of their technical and economical feasibility.
  • Demonstration Project: devoted to build the concept of the service developed during the Feasibility Study and to bring it close to the operational status.