The TIA Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme enables European and Canadian industry to explore, through research and development (R&D) activities, innovative concepts to produce leading-edge satcom products and services.
ARTES offers varying degrees of support to projects with different levels of operational and commercial maturity. The scope and plans for its pursuit are incorporated into the Telecommunications Long-Term Plan (TLTP), the blueprint for ESA's actions over a five-year time frame.
Businesses located within ESA member states involved in the satcom industry - whether small or large, new or experienced - can submit proposals via the various elements of the ARTES programme. Every ARTES element includes a funding framework and follows a certain criteria that must be met by satcom companies wishing to participate.
The elements are as follows:
ARTES 1 Preparatory is dedicated to strategic analysis, market analysis, technology and system feasibility studies and to the support of satellite communication standards.
It focuses on identifying market opportunities and consolidating business cases, supporting industry in collecting spectrum needs and developing telecommunication standards, and initiating the development of future satcom concepts and technologies to assist European and Canadian industry in the
introduction of innovative telecommunication networks and services.
ARTES 3-4 Products is dedicated to the development, qualification, and demonstration of products. The word product in this case has a wide meaning; it can be a piece of equipment, either of the platform or payload of a satellite, it can also be a user terminal or a full telecom system integrating a network with its respective space segment. Telecommunication applications can also be undertaken under the terms of this element.
Contracts are awarded on the basis of proposals made by industry for the development of products with the accompanying business case. Activities are identified and proposed by industry through the alwaysopen Call for Proposals, a mechanism allowing industry to submit one or several proposals at any time.
Atlas is an extension of ARTES 3–4 to support ‘first flight’ opportunities on commercial telecom satellites, either as part of a satellite’s primary mission or as a hosted payload. This gives new and upgraded products developed by European industry a flight heritage and a greater commercial chance in a very competitive worldwide satcom market.
ARTES 5 Technology is dedicated to longer-term technological development, focusing on research and development of innovative technologies and techniques for future or evolving satcom systems.
ARTES 5.1 activities are conducted through a competitive workplan. This plan is established annually from the results of an annual Call for Ideas open to satellite industries, operators, service providers, universities, research centres and national space agencies.
ARTES 5.2 activities are proposed by industry through an always-open Call for Proposals, supporting, through co-funding, the development of new technologies, techniques and system concepts in satcoms.
ARTES 7 EDRS is a specific element dedicated to the development and implementation of an European Data Relay Satellite (EDRS) system. Data relay satellites are satellites placed in geostationary orbit to relay information to/from non-geostationary satellites, spacecraft, other vehicles and fixed Earth stations, which otherwise are not able to permanently transmit/receive data.
Airbus has the overall responsibility for designing and developing the complete space and ground infrastructure. Airbus will then acquire ownership of EDRS and is committed to its operation for the next 15 years.
EDRS will consist of two payloads carried by satellites in geostationary orbit. User data will be transmitted via dedicated terminals from satellites in lower orbits to either of the EDRS nodes and then relayed to the ground. The nodes provide a wide coverage and will allow immediate broadband data transfer when a customer
satellite is within view of one.
ARTES 8 Alphabus/Alphasat is a specific element dedicated to the development and deployment of Alphasat. A Public–Private Partnership undertaken with European operator Inmarsat, Alphasat carries a next-generation advanced geomobile communications payload in L-band that augments Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network service, enabling communications across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East with increased capacity. The satellite, which also carries four technology demonstration payloads, was built under Airbus Defence and Space prime contractorship.
Alphasat offered the industry the unique opportunity to include demonstration – ‘hosted’ – payloads on the satellite. Hosted payloads benefit from available capacity on commercial satellites to accommodate additional transponders, instruments or other applications that have to be demonstrated operationally in space.
ARTES 10 Iris is a satellite-based communication system that will complement the future generation of an air traffic management system currently being developed under the SESAR programme of the EU, by Eurocontrol and the European Aeronautical community.
Iris will contribute to the modernisation of air traffic management by providing digital datalinks to cockpit crews in continental and oceanic airspace.
ESA is in the design phase of Iris in cooperation with the European Commission, the SESAR Joint Undertaking, Eurocontrol, European space industry, air navigation service providers and aviation stakeholders.
ARTES 11 Small GEO is a general-purpose small geostationary satellite platform
that is giving European industry the opportunity to play a significant role in the low-mass commercial satcom market.
SmallGEO is being developed by an industrial team managed by OHB System AG within ARTES 11. Its first use is for Hispasat’s Advanced Generation 1 (AG1) satellite.
Hispasat-AG1 will provide Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands and the Americas with fast multimedia services through its reconfigurable Redsat payload, which offers high signal quality and flexible land coverage.
ARTES 14 Neosat The mid-range satellite market represents around 80% of the total satellite market. With the Neosat ARTES 14 programme, ESA is supporting Europe’s satellite industry to develop the next-generation platform. It is aimed at developing, qualifying and validating in orbit next-generation satellite platforms for the core satcom market.
Neosat is a partnership with the prime contractors Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space. The contract covers competitive selection of the equipment suppliers for platform building blocks, the winners becoming part of the industrial consortium for developing the two Neosat platform product lines, each led by one of the primes. This is a unique opportunity for Europe’s suppliers, as 80% of European satellite platform equipment is procured from within ESA Member States.
Neosat requires substantial technical and production innovation. The aim is to use existing and new technologies in innovative ways and to achieve economies of scale by creating a common supply chain for both satellite prime contractors. Technologies investigated include orbit raising by electric propulsion, new thermal control concepts and next-generation battery cells.
ARTES 20 IAP the Integrated Applications Promotion (IAP) programme, focuses on the use of existing space assets and technologies, improving the exploitation of space systems. It also provides inputs to future space developments based on the acquired knowledge of user needs.
ARTES 21 SAT-AIS: The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a short-range coastal tracking system used on ships. It provides identification and position
information to vessel and shore stations but is limited to coastal waters. Space-based SAT-AIS will provide AIS data via satellite, allowing the detection of equipped seafaring vessels.
The European-based SAT-AIS is an ESA initiative in partnership with the European Maritime Safety Agency and industry. The ARTES 21 SAT-AIS element is defining the design and investigating a sustainable space-based system that will provide AIS data.
ESA has started the development of two microsatellites as part of the SAT-AIS network of satellites in a PPP with LUXSPACE and exactEarth Europe. These satellites will support the exploitation of the AIS data market.
Public–Private Partnerships (PPPs)
Public–Private Partnerships (PPPs) are a large part of ESA’s ARTES programme. Specific elements, such as Hylas-1, Alphasat, SmallGEO, EDRS and SAT-AIS, are structured as PPPs. The PPP approach allows industry to take on a greater risk in order for Europe to reap the benefits of advanced satellite technology.
ESA works with external partners to co-fund the development of applications and services in areas of mutual interest. For instance, ESA and the European Defence Agency jointly fund activities relating to Remotely Piloted Airborne Systems controlled by satellite, while the European Investment Bank co-funds the Space for Med programme, aiming to develop solutions for South- and East-Mediterranean countries in sectors such as water management, energy, transport and logistics.
Last Update: 03 Sep 2014