. 24/7 Space News .
ESA's 25 years of telecom: the beginning
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Nov 13, 2018

More than thirty satellites could be traced back to technology originally developed by the Agency's Orbital Test Satellite programme, for example, with the accompanying boost to Ariane launches; and Olympus had birthed a new generation of on-board systems and demonstrated the use of satellite capacity for videoconferencing, distance learning, business broadcasting and VSAT networks, increasing commercial demand in all those areas.

As ESA's umbrella programme for telecom, ARTES, celebrates its 25th year, we will be examining why it was set up, how it and the European satcom environment have evolved, the opportunities and challenges that both face today, and what the future holds.

The early nineties were a transformative time in the European space sector.

The geopolitical scene had changed dramatically in a few short years, with the end of the Cold War in 1991 and the introduction of the EU Single Market making waves across the continent in 1993.

ESA had been keeping an eye on the burgeoning global satellite communications market for a while, and the recent technical and socio-economic developments left it concerned that Europe could be left behind.

By 1993, progress in satellite technology had elevated satellite broadcasting and the distribution of television programmes to an essential presence in people's homes. Fixed satellite services were enabling high quality telephone connections between different regions of the globe, and the maritime sector was making regular use of satcoms for daily business.

More applications were starting to appear over the horizon too, as digital audio and video broadcasting moved from development to implementation, and ESA projected that satellite's speed, flexibility and connectivity in areas beyond the reach of ground infrastructure would spark the interest of markets like aviation and terrestrial mobile services.

It was clearly a growth sector, but one that was already being dominated by American companies, helped in a large part by national public investments into research and development as a result of their substantial and well-funded defence programmes.

For example, some of the small platform designs being produced in the US at the time were based on micro-miniaturisation of sensors and electronics that had emerged from the US military programme.

This resulted in American companies having highly competitive small platform designs to offer, without needing to allocate their own resources to testing and validating the products themselves, with similar examples being seen across the satcom value chain; and indeed in other, emerging competitor countries.

Without a pan-European equivalent to this type of support, Europe was financially outgunned on all sides. At the time, Japanese and US total investments into R and D stood respectively at 3% and 2.5% of their gross domestic product, compared to Europe's paltry 1.5%.

This also led to investment by the private sector in Europe trailing behind the competition, with US companies investing the equivalent of 1.8% of their national GDP and the Japanese private sector contributing 2%, while in Europe, this stood at just 1%.

ESA concluded that without more institutional investment into European satcom R and D, Europe's industry would miss out on the wealth of opportunity presented by new emerging services and the accelerating deregulation of Europe's economy, especially in telecommunications.

Earlier, ESA support for individual initiatives in telecom and other space applications had stimulated some useful developments.

More than thirty satellites could be traced back to technology originally developed by the Agency's Orbital Test Satellite programme, for example, with the accompanying boost to Ariane launches; and Olympus had birthed a new generation of on-board systems and demonstrated the use of satellite capacity for videoconferencing, distance learning, business broadcasting and VSAT networks, increasing commercial demand in all those areas.

It was clear that corralling all these disparate elements into a broad ESA-led telecom initiative was necessary to enable Europe to compete on the global stage.

So, with the motivation clear, ESA decided on a methodology.

It was determined that above all, ESA's support should help Europe's space industry adapt to the ever-changing commercial satcom landscape, as well as provide some counterweight to the advantages enjoyed by European industry's larger, better supported competitors abroad.

In 1993, it was decided that the best way to do this was to group the existing individual ESA telecom projects under an umbrella programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems - ARTES.

In addition to the R and D, the programme was launched with the specific objective of helping to de-risk new technologies, with ARTES shouldering some of the financial burden in order to encourage private sector investment in cutting-edge products and services and thereby bring them to market more quickly.

With this, ESA had assumed a role that in other areas of the world was played by the national public sectors. The need for this role would develop even further in the years to come, with the underlying logic still being as relevant today as it was then, but the challenges growing in both scale and number.

Join us in two weeks' time to find out what this nascent ARTES programme has become, and how the satcom market has evolved in the 25 years since its birth.

Related Links
The latest information about the Commercial Satellite Industry

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Telstar 18 VANTAGE satellite now operational over Asia Pacific
Ottawa, Canada (SPX) Nov 05, 2018
Telesat reports that its new Telstar 18 VANTAGE high throughput satellite (HTS) is fully operational at 138 degrees East and has entered commercial service. Telstar 18 VANTAGE was launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on September 10 and will serve growing demand for mobility, enterprise and telecom services across the Asia Pacific region. Built by SSL, a Maxar Technologies company, Telstar 18 VANTAGE is the latest in a new generation of Telesat sate ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

From Quantum Optics to Increased Risk Posture: Student Innovations at NASA

Computer on Russian segment of ISS rebooted after glitch

Cosmonauts to perform spacewalk to examine hole in Soyuz hull on December 11

NASA Chief, Russian Envoy discuss US-Russian space cooperation

Embry-Riddle, Florida Tech Collaborate on Spaceflight Research

Russia plans to carry out 17 space launches in 2018

Simulating hypersonic flow transitions from smooth to turbulent

Fregat Upper Stage Separates From Soyuz Carrier Bringing Satellite to Orbit

Oxia Planum favoured for ExoMars surface mission

Scientists capture the sound of sunrise on Mars

Landing site selected for UK's ExoMars rover in 2021

BFR Spawns New Mars TV Series with Homesteading and Profiteers

China unveils new 'Heavenly Palace' space station as ISS days numbered

China's space programs open up to world

China's commercial aerospace companies flourishing

China launches Centispace-1-s1 satellite

Telstar 18 VANTAGE satellite now operational over Asia Pacific

How Max Polyakov from Zaporozhie develops the Ukrainian space industry

SpaceFund launches the world's first space security token to fund the opening of the high frontier

ESA on the way to Space19+ and beyond

Thermal testing of the magnetometer boom

Flying focus: Controlling lasers through time and space

Creating better devices: The etch stops here

Unlocking the secrets of metal-insulator transitions

Laser tech could be fashioned into Earth's 'porch light' to attract alien astronomers

Laboratory experiments probe the formation of stars and planets

NASA retires Kepler Space Telescope, passes planet-hunting torch

Rocky and habitable - sizing up a galaxy of planets

SwRI team makes breakthroughs studying Pluto orbiter mission

ALMA maps temperature of Jupiter's icy moon Europa

NASA's Juno Mission Detects Jupiter Wave Trains

WorldWide Telescope looks ahead to New Horizons' Ultima Thule glyby

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.