European Space Agency

Projects

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  • Advanced Particle Filters

    Status date: Jan

    In the frame of European efforts for independence regarding equipment for satellite communication, this project aims to develop ITAR free 20µm bi-propellant particle filter to meet applicable requirements related to the existing European Geostationary Telecom platforms.

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  • KARFE

    Status date: Jan

    The project comprises investigation of possible solutions to minimize mass and volume for the RF Front-End elements of large Ka-band high throughput satellites. This includes: - Architectural trade-offs - Technology trade-offs - Design - Sub-elements and BB validation - EM MAIT

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  • AIMT

    Status date: Dec

    The project’s target is the design and development of a system demonstrator that proves the feasibility and benefit of interference mitigation techniques in representative environments.

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  • De-Risking Development Activities for Customized RIT 2X

    Status date: Dec

    Within this activity the RIT 2X ion thruster product for application on geostationary telecommunication satellites has been developed. The activity secures the transition from the heritage RIT22 system towards a customized RIT2X solution for a commercial customer. Scope included development activities for Thruster, Radio Frequency Generator, Neutralizer and Xenon Flow Control. The Power Processing Unit has been developed in parallel within a German National Programme.

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  • FOS

    Status date: Dec

    Spacecraft structural health-monitoring applications are pushed forward by increased constraints in the cost of launching payloads into orbit that dictates major reduction in structural weight. Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) optical sensors exhibit a large multiplexing capability and thus can provide relevant savings in terms of cabling and sensor weight. With this objective, the FOS System project has adapted the photonic sensor technology to the requirements of space in-flight applications. The result is a smart demonstrator based on FBG optical sensing technology, able to acquire up to 8 channels with 20 FBGs per channel at 10 Hz acquisition rate and showing temperature sensing precisions above 0.2°C. The system can be accommodated either in stand-alone configuration or inside a telemetry acquisition unit.

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  • MCPRED Multi-Carrier transmission PREDistortion and equalization

    Status date: Dec

    The usage of multi-carrier per transponder operation is becoming more and more common in future satellite systems. This is due to both the use of wider transponder bandwidths and because the efficient operation of multi-carrier transmissions is of high importance future broadcast applications and for broadband applications over future high throughput satellite (HTS) systems. In this context, MCPRED project has implemented a powerful multi-carrier pre-distortion hardware prototype testbed, whose performance has been successfully tested both in laboratory conditions and through over-the-air satellite demonstrations. To this end, throughput gains up to 9% over linearized satellite transponders were successfully demonstrated, which directly translates to similar improvements in terms of operational expenditures as well as capital expenditure gains.

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  • RFIC Chip and Phased Array Antenna Demonstrator

    Status date: Nov

    This project covers the development of a RFIC that operates in Ku band which will support interfacing with phased array antenna elements and hardware demonstrator with all the components integrated.

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  • Fijosat

    Status date: Nov

    The project activity is designed to address the deficiency in available secure access technology in remote areas and in areas where there is no or unreliable terrestrial radio coverage. The solution will provide a satellite ready secure access device which can pass IP data between a secure management portal and remotely located equipment.

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  • KaLENS

    Status date: Nov

    The next generation of Ka-band satellites will allow a considerable reduction in wireless broadband access costs on-the-move. Mobility requires beam steering at the user terminal to maintain the satellite link. An effort is required to allow smaller affordable mobile terminal antennas mounted on top of vehicles like trains, car or planes without sacrificing performance. There is a trade-off among several possible antenna solutions in terms complexity, weight and cost. Pure mechanical steering solutions promise very low-cost antennas, while competing in terms of performance. The downsides tends to be the antenna volume and mechanical complexity. The project proposes a new concept of mechanically steered Ka-band antenna based on a passive transmit-array design that scans the beam just by its in-plane translations over a fixed single feed (or mixed translation of the transmit-array and a single feed). This favors antenna low profile and lightweight. A single aperture is used to operate simultaneously in the downlink and uplink bands with circular polarization. The proposed solution requires less volume and less weight compared to reflector-based solutions. At the same time, the developed solution allows lower production costs than phased array antenna solutions.

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  • KAL

    Status date: Nov

    Following key activities in the telecom payload product area have been performed: - Development, industrialization and qualification of two 4-pack Kaband LNA EQMs; one with primary power interface and one with secondary power interface.

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  • GHOST

    Status date: Oct

    The goal of the GHOST is to develop a flexible measurement instrument to facilitate the verification of wideband satellite channels without interrupting the customer service as well as avoiding interfering with other satellites during orbital movements.

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  • Ku-Band MPA EM

    Status date: Oct

    The purpose of the project is to design, manufacture and test an Engineering Model Multi-port Amplifier operating in the Ku-band. This allows demonstration of RF performances, confirmation of the performance predictions and demonstration of the calibration functions of an MPA. The project ensures risks are retired and the path to a future Flight Model is identified.

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  • High Voltage Switching Matrix

    Status date: Oct

    In Electric Propulsion systems often cross-switching of high voltage lines is required. Nowadays this kind of switching is usually done with high voltage relays. Benefits are expected by replacing the relays with semiconductors. The challenge will be the use of advanced semiconductors capable to deal with high voltages, related to Hall Effect Thruster and Ion Engines.

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  • Satellite Ephemeris Estimator

    Status date: Oct

    A feasibility study for a passive ranging system to estimate satellites ephemeris for LEOP/Orbital move/MEO and LEO satellites.

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  • Beam Former Chip for Phased Array Antenna

    Status date: Oct

    This project covers the development of a Digital Beam Former ASIC that enables the use of multiple antenna elements to perform beam forming.

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  • C-Band INET/ONET

    Status date: Sep

    Development and qualification of components, switches and filters as standalone equipment and as subassemblies (INET, ONET) in C-Band.

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  • EPTOS

    Status date: Sep

    EPTOS project developed a flight dynamics product able to optimize the orbital transfer trajectory and attitude for novel commercial telecom GEO satellites that employ electric propulsion for orbit raising to GEO. The final product has been integrated in GMV’s commercial focusleop product, part of GMV’s focussuite flight dynamics system, flight-proven and highly reliable software devoted to ground control of commercial satellites during LEOP.

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  • Mobile Ad hoc Networks (MANETs) with Satellite Access for Public Safety Operations

    Status date: Sep

    The project is about the development of a communication gateway product that comprises features and functionalities, which allow the efficient linking of Mobile Ad hoc Networks (MANETs) to satellite networks. The development addresses the market of public safety organisations which do have a requirement for mobile broadband communication solutions with a high availability at the respective operation sites. Key requirements from public safety organisations in the areas of mobility management, security and QoS provisioning will be fulfilled by the solution to be developed. Fulfilling the customers’ requirements, being fully operational and providing an easy handling will facilitate the market entry.

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  • MEMS FCM for EP

    Status date: Sep

    The objective of this project was to design, build and test an engineering model of a Xenon Flow Control Module using MEMSbased flow control elements. The primary application for this MEMSbased Xenon flow controller module is existing and future medium and high power Electric Propulsion thruster applications.

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  • KHT - Krypton Hall Thrusters

    Status date: Sep

    Starting from an existing EP technology to be potentially employed for Next Generation Telecom Platforms, the effects on both thruster and system-level performance of propellants selected to be potentially alternative to Xe have been assessed through the development of mathematical models and dedicated test sessions.

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  • Broadband Linearisers (BLIN)

    Status date: Jul

    As the key nonlinear building block of a linearized channel amplifier (LCAMP) the linearizer must compensate a broad variety of TWT nonlinearities. A set of new RF equalizer MMICs provides a greater tuning flexibility by electronic means, thus making hardware modifications obsolete.

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  • NGROBP

    Status date: Jul

    Broadband satellite systems are at a unique position for providing telecommunication infrastructure in security critical situations for effectively dealing with emergency and disaster management, and rescue and relief operations. Disasters are unpredictable in space and time and often take place in areas with non-existing, partially damaged or completely destroyed communication infrastructure, compromising any rescue and recovery effort. The proposed next generation of satellite OBP hosted payloads could help in these extreme conditions.

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  • BiSon64 production optimisation

    Status date: Jul

    Production optimization of a small and affordable high reliability sunsensor

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  • STELLA MAX

    Status date: Jul

    The feasibility study of VDES satellite component system consisted in exploring user needs and required services, defining satellite technical solutions in response of the user needs and performing trade-off analyses of the satellite technical solutions.

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  • NOVEL

    Status date: Jun

    The project demonstrates that the DVB-S2X standard can be a common technology enabler for land-mobile, aeronautical, and maritime satellite services, in addition to the fixed VSAT. The reference design implements novel features such as super-frame format #3, a robust synchronization chain, signal predistortion, and a convolutional interleaver. The test system can operate down to -6 dB SNR.

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  • Wideband Flexible Front-End Design for DTH Receivers

    Status date: Jun

    The activity is aimed at design and prototyping of a novel wideband flexible front-end, capable to appropriately down convert, digitise and process a single or multiple input IF carriers with a (aggregate) bandwidth of up to 500 MHz.

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  • BELLOWS

    Status date: Jun

    Identification and verification of an advanced manufacturing technique capable of processing a propellant-compatible material for the production of space grade bellows.

  • SHADOW

    Status date: Jun

    This project investigates the possibility of providing a generic mixer system that is capable of offering a versatile downconverter for a front end system. This in the sense that a multitude of frequency bands can be dealt with using just one component. It comes in contrast to the use of a dedicated/custom system for each one of the bands.

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  • Independent Tracking Dual Beam (ITDB) Antenna

    Status date: Jun

    The objective of this project was the design and breadboarding of a single ground station terminal antenna able to track two simultaneous satellites in MEO orbit allowing the handover process.

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  • ADS

    Status date: Jun

    ADS for antennas. The A-ADS system enables the deployment of satellite antennas with a large diameter and an extended focal length. The articulated (segmented) boom can be folded in several configurations on the spacecraft sidewall. Three hold-down points, based on similar technology as used on Airbus Defence and Space NL solar arrays (heritage of >500 releases with 100% success), will assure safe accommodation during launch and shock-free release in orbit. The boom deploys by means of spring-driven hinges interconnected by means of synchronization cables, similar to solar arrays. The deployment speed is controlled by an actuator. When fully deployed, the hinges are locked, providing a very stiff structure, essential for disturbance-free pointing of the antenna. The pitch-and-roll pointing mechanism (ADTM Mk2 gimbal by Airbus Defence and Space with over 23 in orbit), is located close to the reflector assuring high pointing accuracy. The A-ADS has a modular design, which allows a wide range of mission configurations by tuning only a few design parameters. This approach in combination with the use of standard building blocks minimizes the non-recurring design effort for a specific application and allows any desired configuration. A special kinematic model is available to assess the design parameters of the A-ADS based on customer inputs.

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  • Generic Flexible Payload Solution

    Status date: Jun

    Enhancing capacity and flexibility is one of the major challenges for new-generation of payloads. The interest of two major European Telecommunication Operators for these solutions has motivated the present study in order to define the possible Generic Payload Solutions in line with the Operator views and with the objective of taking benefit of their guidelines for the down-selection of preferred payload scenarios.

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  • New LCAMP Technologies

    Status date: Jun

    In order to reduce equipment cost a Breadboard LCAMP based on new and innovative technologies and equipment tuning is to be developed. Herby development activities are focused on three main issues: 1) Mixed Signal ASIC to achieve maximum integration of electrical components 2) LTCC technology including a cost- and time-minimized assembly process 3) Fully automated equipment tuning

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  • PPU for Full Electric SATCOM: qualification phase

    Status date: Jun

    The aim of the project is to define and qualified the PPU Mk3 to drive 5kW Hall Effect Thruster.

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  • SMP Switch Module

    Status date: Jun

    Development of an EQM Switch Module as part of a SMP concept intended to support a wide variety of telecoms and science missions using the next generation of deep sub-micron digital processing technology.

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  • MHPKU

    Status date: May

    Due to the increasing market requirements for FSS and BSS services in Ku-band, Airbus decided to replace the over ten years successfully used Ortho Mode Transducers (OMT) by a set of new developed ones. Three new devices were designed, built and qualified for space application. These products cover all demands with respect to frequency band, polarisation, RF power and performance.

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  • NGSSN

    Status date: May

    The NGSSN Project addresses the Governmental Satellite Communications (GOVSATCOM) scenario which is characterised by a new SATCOM service-class fitting between COMSATCOM services, not offering guarantees for robustness and sufficient availability, and MILSATCOM services, which are both too expensive and too difficult to implement for conventional use in low or medium intensity crises.

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  • M2M IoT Maker Space For Satellite Communications

    Status date: May

    The European Space Agency (ESA) and Dublin City University have joined forces to establish a Satcom IoT ‘Maker Space’, which will support the development of innovative Machine-to -Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for satellite communications.

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  • OCEAN

    Status date: May

    This project analyses and characterises cost-effectiveness of broadband solutions involving satellite systems vs. terrestrial-only architecture. Reference network architecture designs targeting end users in rural areas are based on three geo-economic regions, supported by a numerical and visualisation tool to elaborate sample test cases and a pilot measurement campaign to assess the broadband quality of the satellite solution.

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  • SECURESAT

    Status date: May

    Govsatcom services shall be provided to European Public Safety entities thanks to different means : classic commercial services, adequate procurement schemes to ensure immediate and guarantee access on either commercial assets or governmental assets, or dedicated Govsatcom assets. The aim of Securesat study is: first, to assess the Users and Mission requirements for Govsatcom communications, secondly to identify existing (or soon to be deployed) assets and adequate procurement models that can answer to these requirements,and then to identify the remaining gap and to define complementary new assets to fulfil the full set of requirements. The candidate solutions shall be evaluated through a trade-off to identify the best solutions (taking into account cost-effective parameters). Among the future assets, the development that could be part of a precursor will be identified and a first design will be realised.

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  • BiSon74-ET-RH

    Status date: May

    Sunsensor that can withstand both the heat and the cold associated with extendable solar panel mounting and exhibiting increased radiation tolerance so as to allow prolonged operation in or near the radiation belts.

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  • 2.5D PCB Technology

    Status date: May

    The 2.5D technology for Slipring Assembly project has been performed to demonstrate that a Slipring assembly based on 2.5D printed circuit board (PCB) technology can replace in future space mechanisms the currently used risky and costly concept.

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  • MAM

    Status date: May

    Following key development activities in the on-board processing converter product area have been performed: - The development of a Ka to L Downconverter - Development of converter multipliers MMICs. - Market survey for commercial off the shelf MMIC image reject mixers (IRM).

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  • HTMod2

    Status date: May

    In the frame of the contract 4000110670/14/NL/US a 100 Volt High torque Wheel Drive Electronic with analogue interface for a Reaction Wheel was qualified. In the frame of this qualification, which was performed on Reaction Wheel Assembly level, several features of the heritage wheel drive electronics were improved and qualified.

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  • M2MSAT

    Status date: May

    Satellite systems have unique advantages for M2M/IoT such as broad coverage and connecting remote areas where there is no or limited terrestrial network infrastructure. Today’s M2M/IoT protocols work well in terrestrial settings, while their applicability for space communication systems has received little attention so far. This project analyses existing M2M/IoT protocols and investigates into possible improvements for satellite systems.

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  • LPGAN

    Status date: Apr

    Magnitude Space is building a nano‐satellite platform to provide low‐cost IoT data connectivity for sensors globally. In an open development environment, sensors will be integrated with small transmission hardware to send small packets of data to a low‐cost cube-sat constellation and from there via ground stations to data servers at the customers’ premise.

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  • GPV (Gas Passivation Valve)

    Status date: Apr

    In the frame of space debris mitigation, ESA has implemented new requirements and recommendations, which state that satellite propulsion systems shall be passivated at end of life. The main objective of the project is to develop a Gas Passivation Valve (GPV) to meet applicable passivation requirements related to the existing European Geostationary Telecoms platforms.

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  • CABCOM

    Status date: Apr

    CAN bus has been used in automotive and industrial applications for years in complex systems that require demanding command and control performance. In space systems, the benefits of CAN bus have also been recognized: reducing the number of wires and weight along with lower power consumption and easier testability will result in major cost savings for spacecraft manufacturers. CAN bus is rapidly becoming an on-board standard command and control bus.

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  • AMPT

    Status date: Apr

    Innovative design of new ITAR free monopropellant 1N thruster developed specifically to out-perform existing flight-proven designs in terms of longevity. Radical use of materials, catalyst loading, nozzle and injector design, filtering and fine particle control, etc. will make this thruster a key player in the 1N chemical thruster market for satellite orbit control systems. Flight Standard Qualification to 44kg throughput was completed in August 2016. Delivery of first flight thruster in September 2016 ensures rapid flight heritage for the MHT-1N with launch planned for June 2017.

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  • LEREA

    Status date: Apr

    The future generation of communication satellites will use multi-beam antennas providing wide-band two-ways communication applications. Active discrete lens antennas permit generating a multibeam coverage adopting only a single Tx/Rx aperture or two separated Tx and Rx apertures instead of the current solutions based on multi-reflector systems. Reduced volume and maximum EIRP flexibility over the service area are the main advantages of this alternative multibeam antenna. The main criticalities of discrete lens antennas are associated with their mass, physical accommodation, power consumption and thermal control of the high power amplifiers. Reflector antennas exhibit some complementarity with respect to lens antennas: they guarantee a high gain but limited scanning capabilities. Combining a discrete lens with a reflector system would allow reducing the physical size of the lens itself, making it more manageable with respect to the criticalities mentioned above, and at the same time reducing the limitations of reflector antenna systems.

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  • SPECSI

    Status date: Apr

    The SPECSI project examined the role of satellites in future communication networks and applications in 2020-25. It studied emerging ICT trends to identify future opportunities for satcom and their associated system propositions. The outputs of the study are designed to help ESA understand how the European and Canadian satellite industry can be best supported through its ARTES programme.

    Prime Contractor