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ARTES Elements
Tenders and Workplans

Updated ARTES 3-4 Call for Proposals addresses industry’s need for flight heritage

14 Jun 2013

The last step in getting innovative satcom space products ready for the commercial market is now part of the ARTES 3-4 programme. The ARTES 3-4 open Call for Proposals has been updated to include a flight heritage element, known as Atlas.

The Atlas element supports the development of prototype flight models of innovative products to overcome the final hurdle in proving a new products’ capabilities in space. This will increase success rates and speed up the entry into the market where the first flight is the most challenging step and the trigger for subsequent sales.

The ARTES 3-4 Call for Proposals is open for companies to submit tenders at any time. ARTES 3-4 is dedicated to the development, qualification and demonstration of products.  “Product” has a wide meaning: it can be an equipment item, either on the platform or payload of a satellite, but it can also be a user terminal or a full telecom system integrating a network with its space segment. 

With the addition of the Atlas element, the satcom industry is supported by ESA when a first flight opportunity presents itself for the provider of an innovative product.

Depending on the flight configuration, Atlas activities may include the following types of project to support first flight opportunities and gain flight heritage:

  • accommodation studies aiming at assessing the compatibility and necessary adaptations to include the innovative product on board the satellite;
  • Prototype Flight Model development, including mainly engineering, hardware and/or software, assembly, integration and testing (AIT); and if necessary engineering qualification model (EQM) development;
  • satellite accommodation of the innovative product and possibly additional hardware specifically required for accommodation purposes and satellite level AIT;
  • specific activities related to the product during the launch campaign;
  • In orbit test and early operation phase specific to the product for validation of function and performance or monitoring of the innovative product which may also be necessary

Atlas can provide funding for up to 50% of the eligible activities and assist to find space on board a satellite which will enable an innovative product’s first flight opportunity.

Products may be “embedded” into the main commercial mission of a satellite or  a “passenger” where it is on board, but not part of, the main commercial element of the mission.

This extension to the ARTES programme will help to provide industry with the opportunity to deliver innovation and commercially relevant products for the global satcom market.

Details of how to prepare an ARTES 3-4 Atlas proposal are available on EMITS (, referenced AO5891:

Last Update: 02 Jul 2013
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