ESA’s Redu Centre in Belgium’s Ardennes region is responsible for controlling and testing a range of satellites as part of ESA’s ground station network. It is also home to the Space Weather Data Centre as part of ESA’s Space Situational Awareness Preparatory Programme.
The centre has been operational since 1 January 1968. It occupies an area of 29 000 sq m, of which 3000 sq m are developed. Technical areas include control centres, technical equipment rooms and antenna bunkers. It is manned and fully secured at all times.
The Redu Centre provides S-band links for ESA’s network of ground stations, as well as in-orbit testing (IOT) for telecommunication and navigation satellites. Today, it is providing communications for the Artemis, Integral and Proba satellites, as well as XMM-Newton backup facilities.
The site hosts 43 steerable antennas operating in a variety of frequency bands (S, Ku, Ka, L, C bands). The largest antennas are Galileo In-Orbit-Testing L-band (20 m), Estrack S-band (15 m) and TMS-1M Ka-band (13.5m). The 20 m L-band, 4.5 m C-band and UHF antennas for Galileo IOT will be joined by other antennas moved from Luxembourg: 15 antennas of various sizes, including a 13 m Ku-band dish will be maintained as backup for the facilities of the satellite operator SES in Betzdorf, Luxembourg.
IOT facilities (antennas, measurement and processing chains) are also offered for telecommunication satellites (Ku- & Ka-bands), used by ESA programmes (Artemis) and European industry (Avanti, Eutelsat, SES).
Recent investments, including a new power plant and a site extension, mean that the Redu Centre is ready for future missions. In addition, it is capable of hosting and operating projects with high security requirements.
The increase in its activities led to the recognition of Redu as a key ESA centre, fully integrated into the ESA structure of establishments and centres in 2009.
The ESA Business Incubation Centre (BIC) Redu was opened in 2012. It is near the Redu site at the Galaxia Business Park in Transinne-Libin, Belgium, a business incubator for the EU’s space sector. As a consequence of the variety of satellites operated by ESA from Redu, ESA BIC Redu is aimed at companies specialising in telecommunications, Earth observation and navigation systems as well as integrated applications.
Last update: 10 July 2012