European Space Agency

Disruptive Technologies for Sub-Systems of GEO Telecommunication Satellite Platforms


The term “disruptive technology (or innovation)” is used in business and technology literature to describe technologies (or innovations) that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect. The aim of this project is to identify disruptive technologies for the space sector or Disruptive Space Technologies that could be integrated within platforms of geostationary telecommunication satellites in the next 10 years.

The study was composed of 4 tasks:

Task 1 is dedicated to defining selection criteria for new and innovative technologies. In addition an evaluation framework was established which can be used to determine the disruptive potential for technologies.

Task 2 is dedicated to identifying for each subsystem disruptive technologies, which could possibly improve current telecom platforms. The technologies are introduced in data sheets, which are based on the selection criteria defined in Task 1.

In Task 3 the technologies found during the workshop are further detailed and investigated with respect to possible improvements in technical performance, mass, volume time to delivery and recurring cost. It is the aim to define at least three promising technologies per subsystem.

For the preferred technologies found in Task 3 the critical steps to reach TRL 6/7 by 2020 will be assessed in Task 4. The aim of this assessment is to create roadmaps for the most promising technologies with the constraint of reaching TRL 4/5 for a budget less than € 500 k.

Technologies are related to spacecraft systems and sub-systems, as well as to cross-sectional technologies. The selection of technologies was aimed to implement spacecraft functions with higher performance, lower mass & volume and cost. Besides OHB System AG and its industrial suppliers, public institutes, research labs and research departments of Universities evolved as main contributors for the study.

In order to screen potential technologies we focused on.

  • Relevant technology developments, carried out in the frame of current or future space programs,
  • Relevant technologies, which are or will be developed for terrestrial application and which could be transferred into space application by delta development and / or qualification (technology spin-in).

For each selected technology a high level forecast of mandatory steps for the development is provided to reach a TRL 6/7 in a 10 year time frame.

The output of the study consists of a set of technologies that would be eligible for use in the frame of future geostationary-satellite telecommunication platforms.




To feed ARTES 5.1 Call for Ideas.


See Final Report.

Current status

Status date

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 14:14