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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 will allow two-way voice and data communications via satellite, between fixed Earth stations and land mobiles - trucks, trains or cars - anywhere in Europe and North Africa.
Artemis carries two payloads for communicating directly between satellites:a laser-optical relay terminal called SILEX,
and a double S/Ka-band terminal called SKDR.
Data will be received from low-Earth-orbiting satellites and then transmitted directly to Europe.
Artemis was launched the 12 July 2001 from Europe's spaceport in Kourou from an Ariane 5 launcher.