ARTES programme overview

ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme transforms research and development investment into successful commercial products. This helps to secure the futures of Europe and Canada in the worldwide satcom market.

The success of ARTES is the result of the continuous collaboration between the decision-makers in the private and public sectors of participating Member States. 

Through ARTES, ESA offers the unique ability to pool the expertise from all Member States and share their knowledge. This helps to maintain and develop an industry that provides competitive products in an open global commercial market in the face of increasing competition.

ARTES offers varying degrees of support to projects with different levels of commercial maturity. For riskier or more innovative projects, ESA may provide more support. The closer to market, the more industry must co-invest. Businesses within ESA member and cooperating states – whether small or large, new or experienced – can submit proposals to the ARTES programme.

The various ARTES elements form a flexible framework for activities across the full value chain, highly appreciated by the private and public partners. Every ARTES element includes a funding framework and follows a certain criteria that must be met by satcom companies wishing to participate. 

ARTES elements

  • ARTES 1 Strategy is dedicated to strategic analysis, market analysis, technology and system feasibility studies and to the support of satellite communication standards.
  • ARTES 3-4 Products is dedicated to the development, qualification, and demonstration of products. The word product in this case has a wide meaning; it can be a piece of equipment, either of the platform or payload of a satellite, it can also be a user terminal or a full telecom system integrating a network with its respective space segment. Telecommunication applications can also be undertaken under the terms of this element.
  • ARTES 7 EDRS is a specific element dedicated to the development and implementation of an European Data Relay System (EDRS). Data relay satellites are satellites placed in geostationary orbit to relay information to/from non-geostationary satellites, spacecraft, other vehicles and fixed Earth stations, which otherwise are not able to permanently transmit/receive data.
  • ARTES 8 Alphabus/Alphasat is dedicated to the development and deployment of Alphasat 1-XL through a public-private partnership with Inmarsat. It will incorporate the first unit of the Alphabus platform jointly developed by Airbus and Thales Alenia Space. Alphasat 1-XL incorporates innovative on-board processing technology and promote development of user services.
  • ARTES 10 Iris is dedicated to the development of a satellite-based communication system that will complement the future generation of an air traffic management system currently being developed under the SESAR programme of the EU, by Eurocontrol and the European Aeronautical community.
  • ARTES 11 SmallGEO will develop and implement the SmallGEO platform, a general-purpose small geostationary satellite platform that is giving European industry the opportunity to play a significant role in the commercial telecom market. The platform is developed through a public–private partnership. ESA is focusing its support on research and development activities through ARTES 11 while industrial partners finance a substantial part of the development costs.
  • ARTES 14 Neosat is an element designed to support the development, qualification and demonstration of the next generation of satellite platforms. This will allow European prime satellite integrators already established in the 3-6 tonne launch segment to address the future needs of satellite operators.
  • ARTES 20 IAP is dedicated to the development, implementation and pilot operations of Integrated Applications. These are applications of space systems that combine different types of satellites, such as telecommunications, earth observation and navigation. Integrated Application projects offer solutions that range from secure transport systems to developing emergency/disaster management systems.
  • ARTES 21 SAT-AIS The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a short range coastal tracking system currently used on ships. It was developed to provide identification and position information to vessel and shore stations. Space-based, or SAT-AIS will provide AIS data via satellite, allowing for the detection of seafaring vessels equipped with AIS tracking devices.
  • ARTES 33 Partner is a new element to provide the satcom industry with an efficient framework to bring innovative products and systems into the marketplace through industry-generated public-private partnerships. The first partner-proposed project called Electra will support the European satellite industry in developing, launching and validating in-orbit a full electric propulsion telecommunications satellite in the 3 tonne launch mass range.

Last update: 7 January 2015

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