A special media briefing on the European Data Relay System (EDRS) took place on 15 January, at ESA HQ in Paris. The briefing was shared by the ESA Director General Jan Woerner, the ESA Director of Telecommunications & Integrated Applications, Magali Vaissiere, the ESA Director of Earth Observation, Volker Liebig, Airbus Head of CIS, Evert Dudok, DLR Director of Space Administration, Gerd Gruppe, and ESA EDRS Project Manager Michael Witting.
EDRS is a new space and ground infrastructure that provides near-realtime Big Data relay services (up to 50 Tbytes per day) using cutting-edge laser technology. It will dramatically improve access to time-critical data, aiding disaster response by emergency services and maritime surveillance, for example.
EDRS is a public–private partnership between ESA and Airbus Defence and Space. The laser terminal was developed by TESAT-Spacecom and funded by the DLR German Aerospace Center.
The first node will be launched as a hosted payload on the commercial Eutelsat-9B satellite. The launch is scheduled for 27 January, from Baikonur, using a Proton rocket. The second EDRS node will follow in 2017 as a dedicated satellite.
Airbus Defence and Space will offer EDRS-SpaceDataHighway as a commercial service. Its first customers will be the European Commission’s Copernicus Sentinel-1 and -2 satellites.