Space Based Services for Railway Signalling

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Closing date


Feasibility Study

17. November 2014

The objective of the Feasibility Study is to determine the technical feasibility and economic viability of an integrated satellite navigation and satellite communication solution complementing the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).

Space Based Services for Railway Signalling (SBS-RailS) has the scope to analyse a solution based on GNSS and available augmentation systems in combination with satellite communications and other terrestrial means to be used in ERTMS solutions. The integrated application will take into account the needs of the users and will focus on the overall world market with a special attention to the European scenarios.

Nowadays, the adoption of ERTMS is limited by the high investment cost for the required infrastructure (train on-board equipment,  infrastructure along the tracks, GSM-R as communication solution, etc.) and by the subsequent maintenance costs. Therefore, ERTMS is typically implemented for high speed lines (HSL), where the high level of utilisation justifies such high investments; these costs represent an obvious barrier for the deployment of such high safety standard in non-High Speed Lines (e.g. Conventional Main Lines, Regional Lines, and Local Lines). The currently applied national safety standards do not always match the safety level provided by ERTMS. Taking into account the important role that satellites and related services can play in the railway domain, the study will analyse the requirements that a satellite aided ERTMS solution needs to satisfy in order to be attractive to the railway market.

Funding Scheme

Funded participation to the ARTES Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) programme is open to any public organisation, commercial client worldwide or space company, be it as federation of users, public body or non-governmental organisation, residing in any of those states that subscribed to the ARTES IAP programme.

To date, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have subscribed.

Funding of the individual Prime or subcontractors is subject to authorisation of the required ARTES IAP budget by the related National Delegation(s). As documented in the ARTES Declaration and Implementing Rules, the delegations are free to decide whether or not to support an entity. Therefore bidding teams are requested to obtain a Letter of Authorisation from their national delegation before submitting a Full Proposal.

Activities may be funded by ESA up to 100% of the cost of the project.

ARTES IAP - Open Competitions


Project Cost Funding

ESA ESA defined partner
Feasibility Study 100% 0%
Demonstration Project 50% 50%


ARTES IAP - Direct Negotiations (Call for Proposal)


Project Cost Funding

Funding Limit

Duration Limit

ESA Tenderer and /or third party
Feasibility Study 50% 50%    
100%* 0%    
Fast Track Feasibility Study 50% 50% 50 kEuro 6 months
Demonstration Project 50%* 50%    
*For Feasibility and Demonstration Studies carried out by universities and research institutes involved as contractors or subcontractors and justifying no further commercial interest in the product may be 100% funded by the Agency.