European Space Agency

Future Preparation Overview

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Future Preparation is the strategy element of ESA’s Telecommunications programme. It’s primary purpose is to identify new market opportunities for industry; define future technology development needs; ensure future access to frequency spectrum; create growth by developing new industry standards; and build new ARTES programmatic activity.

In order to meet these goals, and ensure ARTES remains relevant to the needs of the Industry it supports, Future Preparation effort is conducted through a number of parallel streams: 

  • Gathering and analysing business intelligence and market information: related to the global Satellite Communications sector, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, as well as global economic and industrial trends and developments.
  • Establishing and maintaining close relations and a continuous dialogue with industrial, academic, and institutional players from across the Satellite Communications sector: in order to properly understand, influence, and support their future development and growth plans.
  • Studying and developing new Satcom system concepts and applications: including new satellite system architectures, new services and applications, improving integration and interoperation with terrestrial systems, and exploring spin-in from other relevant high technology application areas.
  • Identifying future technology development needs: for execution under other ARTES elements, either in terms of technology feasibility demonstrations, product and system development support, or in-orbit validation and demonstration needs.
  • Ensuring access to radio spectrum: identifying spectrum access requirements for new and future systems, advocating for the Satcom sector in securing new and protecting existing allocations, promoting efficient sharing and interoperation between Satcom systems and terrestrial networks.
  • Supporting standardisation activities: in order to promote fair and equal market access within the Satcom sector e.g. modulation and coding standards, communication protocols, ground terminal standards, test and verification methods, and equipment interoperability.
  • Supporting Regulatory Efforts: for example, to help overcome access barriers to space, access to global markets, and related to the long-term sustainable exploitation of the space environment.
  • Defining and building new ARTES 4.0 programmatic activity: creating the next group of Strategic Programme Lines for the ARTES 4.0 programme, identifying new programmatic structures to support the development and growth of the Satcom sector, as well as building partnership opportunities with industrial actors.

Funding

Study activities conducted by industry and institutions under the Future Preparation programme are fully funded by ESA.

Delegation authorisation

Authorisation from a national delegate is not required to participate in Future Preparation activity.

Who can participate?

Studies and investigations can be conducted by industry and institutions based in all Member States participating in the ESA Telecommunications programme;

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada

Implementation

Future Preparation activities are chiefly implemented through a Rolling Work Plan that is continuously updated as needs develop across the Satcom sector. The topics covered by the Rolling Work Plan are based in part on the results of the ARTES Call for Ideas that is continuously open to participating Member States’ satellite industries, satellite operators, service providers, universities and research centres. Invitations To Tender for the activities of the Work Plan are generally issued in open competition.