Satellite communications is the economic engine of the space industry, accounting for two thirds of overall space industry revenue.
Worldwide data traffic is estimated to grow 800% by 2019, making broadband and data communications services leading growth segments.
ESA’s Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications keeps European and Canadian industry at the leading edge of this fiercely competitive global market by nurturing innovation.
Through ESA’s support, industry can pursue research and development that would otherwise not be economically viable. Growing new space-enabled applications and services stimulates the wider economy, creating new business and jobs across almost every sector.
Services using space capabilities benefit society on a daily basis and on a global and local scale, such as monitoring natural resources and the environment, improving education in rural areas, assisting search and rescue, and providing remote healthcare.
ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems, ARTES, transforms R&D investment into successful commercial products and services by offering varying degrees of support to projects with different levels of operational and commercial maturity.
ARTES has three branches:
- Business Applications develops everyday applications and services that use satcoms technology to improve existing solutions or fill the gap left by terrestrial ones.
- Support and development of new or next-generation satcom products and technologies up to their first flight opportunity is part of ARTES Core Competitiveness.
- ESA’s public–private partnerships (PPPs) with satellite operators and manufacturers, supports co-funding to share the risk that comes with investing in new technologies. This accelerates their introduction to the market, keeping Europe ahead in satcoms.
ESA’s Telecommunications and Integrated Applications also works alongside other public entities such as the European Union, Eurocontrol and the European Defence Agency. It also collaborates on various levels with national space agencies across ESA's Member States.