European Space Agency

SAT-AIS Private Public Partnership (PPP) Scheme - Astrium


In order to develop the European SAT-AIS service, a PPP may be established contributing to the operations, service provision and / or procurement of the SAT-AIS infrastructure and / or through the utilisation of their own assets as part of the SAT-AIS.

The objectives of this study are thus:

  • To propose and assess possible PPP scheme(s) for the development, deployment and operation of the SAT-AIS system and provision of the associated services to European and non-European, institutional and commercial users,
  • To provide feedback recommendations to the phase B1 SAT-AIS system studies, in order to ensure feedback of the system definition and implementation plan with the objectives and constraints of a viable business case.

The aim is to identify a win-win scheme, beneficial to all parties in particular with respect to:

  • Quality of service delivered to the European users,
  • Financial viability, ensured through:
    • Adequate sharing of the investment between public and private parties,
    • Sustainability / profitability via the conjunction of the institutional and commercial revenue flows,
  • Fair risk sharing between public and private actors.


We here below discuss a first list of seven key issues:

  • Adequacy of proposed PPP scheme(s) with respect to the financial constraints and objectives of the actors,
  • Estimation of revenues and/or customers expectations:
    • Anchor customer willingness to pay for the service and/or at expected pricing level,
    • Upside customers (commercial users, non-European users) willingness to buy SAT-AIS data and value added services,
    • Competition with commercial SAT AIS data providers; market willingness to pay for premium services,
  • Sensitivity to technical and programmatic risks:
    • SAT AIS system implementation schedule,
    • SAT-AIS system performances,
    • Sensitivity to context elements,
  • Restrictive SAT-AIS Data Policies
  • Specific risks for PPP schemes implying co-operation with a commercial supplier:
    • Higher costs/revenue share from potential SAT-AIS operator.


There are a number of main benefits arising from this study:

  • Information can be generated to inform the B1 study on the architecture of a possible Satellite AIS constellation,
  • Possible public private partnership scheme can be explored with an aim of providing possibilities for a future Satellite AIS service.




The various dimensions of the PPP case are thus studied via the following structured approach, which corresponds to the sequence of the project tasks:

The first step is to select and formalise our primary options for the proposed PPP:

  • The targeted PPP scheme,
  • The targeted service model.

Based on the above, the activity shall proceed (Task 2) with an estimation of the potential revenues.

A Parametric financial model shall be implemented and the financial modelling of the Business Case for the proposed options. One of the high-level objectives of the project is to review and provide feedback to the on-going phase B1 studies.

Finally, the definition of a PPP proposal requires consolidation of the previous elements and to define in detail the terms of the proposed PPP: service definition & service level agreements, commitment between the parties and risk sharing.

The last task will allow iterative refining and consolidation of the Business Case, PPP proposition, and recommendations to the phase B1 studies.

Current status

The study team performed the final presentation on the 26th July 2012.

Status date

Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 13:54