European Space Agency

Future Preparations Overview


The ARTES Future Preparations element focuses on: defining market opportunities; regulatory barriers; standards; future frequency spectrum needs; as well as economic and business issues relating to the development of future satellite telecommunications concepts and technologies to assist European and Canadian industry in the development of innovative telecommunication services.

This is accomplished by pursuing the following key objectives:

  • To perform mission, system, general configuration studies and other activities to prepare and continuously update the medium and long term programme of ESA in the field of telecommunications;
  • To define the technology developments necessary for the execution of the telecommunication programme and their timing and provide these requirements as inputs for the technology programmes definition to be undertaken in other elements of ARTES.

The range of activities covered by Future Preparations include market surveys and economic analysis relating to future telecommunications and data relay system missions, definition of mission and in-orbit testing requirements, identification of technology gaps and new programmes, contribution to international frequency spectrum issues and standards development, support to European Commission to define a role that satellites can play in building Europe’s future telecommunications institutional infrastructure and development of system concepts through modelling and simulation tools.


Activities within Future Preparations are fully funded by ESA.

Who can participate?

Activities under Future Preparations are open to industry of all Member States participating in ARTES;
Participating Member States include:

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

Delegation authorisation

Authorisation from a participating Member State’s national delegate is not a pre-requisite for participation in Future Preparations.


Future Preparations activities are implemented on the basis of an Annual Workplan. This Workplan is established based on the results of an annual Call for Ideas open to participating Member States’ satellite industries, satellite operators, service providers, universities and research centres. Invitations to tender or ITTs are then issued based on the Annual Workplan.