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N° 37–1995: ESA at TELECOM'95, Geneva, 3-11 October 1995

22 September 1995

CONNECT - into the information highway! This will be the main theme of this year's TELECOM'95 in Geneva. But anyone who has tried to look at his Internet mailbox from a hotel room in, say, Moscow, or to load down high-resolution images from a Web-server knows that to CONNECT! is not always that easy.

Satellites are often able to provide telecommunications links which are impossible to establish on the ground. This also holds for access to the future information highways. The European Space Agency, ESA, which is involved in developing advanced satellites and related technology, will make its stand at TELECOM'95 a demonstration of the role satellite communications will play in tomorrow's information society.

Exhibits on the 230 sqm ESA stand will feature:

1. An impressive full-scale model of ARTEMIS, ESA's next- generation satellite scheduled for launch in 1998. Measuring 26 metres from tip-to-tip, ARTEMIS is packe with newly developed technology for use on satellites beyond the year 2000. Its most impressive system is SILEX, a laser-optical terminal for wideband communications directly between satellites.
Optical communications between geostationary satellites is a means to avoid multiple up- and downlinks when bridging large distances, for example between Europe and Japan or the U.S. West Coast. Such optical links would save valuable resources, reduce time delays and, moreover, potentially offer very high data rates.

At present, ESA in Europe and Japan are currently developing the technology for civil laser inter-satellite communications, which are ideally suited to provide a space-borne overlay of tomorrow's fiber-optical information highways.
In addition to SILEX, embarked on Artemis, a model of an ESA-developed second-generation laser optical terminal will be on display on the ESA stand.

2. The ESA PRODAT small mobile terminal is available to operators of regional and international networks with several thousand users requiring low and moderate transmission rates (up to 4.8 kbit/s). PRODAT network are considerably less expensive than cellular ground networks, and they can be interfaced with most standa networks (X25, X400, Ethernet, Internet etc.)
The PRODAT demonstration at TELECOM'95 will highlight the use of this terminal for mobile e-mail, location, disaster monitoring, credit-card check, international paging etc.

3. A demonstration of the capability of accessing the Internet via a high-speed satellite terminal will highlight the difference between connecting to the WorldWide Web at data rates of 14.4 and 64 kBit/s on the one hand, and MBit/s on the other. Such high data rates can be prov at moderate cost even for an occasional user, by adva VSAT terminals. Satellite terminals can provide alter solutions for high-speed ground links, and the only solution in many places around the world where such high-speed networks do not exist at all.

For further information, please contact:
Claus Habfast
ESA Public Relations Division
Telecom'95 Press Officer
8-10, rue Mario Nikis
F - 75738 Paris cedex 15
Tel. (+33) - 1 - 5369-7416
Fax. (+33) - 1 - 5369-7690

Tel. (+41) 22 761 26 61
Fax. (+41) 22 760 34 93

Available on request:
Press photo of an artist's impression of the ARTEMIS satellite, sending data via its laser-optical SILEX terminal, to a satellite in low-Earth orbit. The technology developed for SILEX can be used for establishing laser-optical communications, directly between geostationary satellites, featuring very high data rates. A prototype terminal, SOUT for Small Optical User Terminal, will be on exhibit at the ESA stand at TELECOM'95 in Geneva.