Carrying three payloads plus a number of experiments, Artemis (Advanced Relay and Technology Mission Satellite) has been developed to test and operate new telecommunications techniques.
The L-band mobile payload allows two-way communications, via satellite, between fixed Earth stations and land mobiles - trucks, trains or cars - anywhere in Europe and North Africa.
In parallel, ESA is exploring advanced technology to transmit data directly from one satellite to another, both conventionally - using radio waves - and in a revolutionary new way using laser beams.
Artemis carries two payloads for communications directly between satellites, which will receive data from low-Earth-orbiting satellites and transmit them directly to Europe:
-a laser-optical relay terminal called SILEX,
-a double S/Ka-band terminal called SKDR.