Our Mission

The development of technology – making new things to do new things – is central to ESA's existence. The Agency spends around 8% of its budget on direct research and development, an activity mandated in the ESA Convention. It runs many preparatory programmes to do this, covering various different inventions, each leading activities based on their technical maturity or their field.

  • TDE The Technology Development Element is responsible for early development stages across all service and technology domains, taking cutting-edge ideas and testing their suitability for space applications.
  • GSTP The General Support Technology Programme is an optional programme that takes previously proven innovations through to succeeding stages of engineering, finally evolving fully-tested hardware ready for adoption by future missions.

Our Responsibility

To make sure that the right technology will be available at the right maturity at the right time for future missions

Shaping the Future
Proba-V view of Aral Sea
Enabling & Support

DAME’s organisation benefits Earth Observation users

27/09/2019 62 views 2 likes
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Enabling & Support

NOAH is an arc for anomalies in data flood

25/09/2019 64 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

Can citric acid be a green alternative to protecting steel?

20/09/2019 1309 views 80 likes
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Enabling & Support

Ultralight mesh encourages unfurlable reflectors

17/09/2019 75 views 0 likes
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A GSTP activity with Omnisys Instruments in Sweden
Enabling & Support

New Dual Probe THz Receiver

13/09/2019 64 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

Distorting honeycombs

06/09/2019 114 views 2 likes
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Space Station
Enabling & Support

Services available for in-flight ISS demonstrations

05/09/2019 213 views 0 likes
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A Mini Hybrid Capillary Pumped Loop

30/08/2019 52 views 0 likes
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3D-printed antenna
Enabling & Support

Advanced manufacturing can 3D print lightweight antennas

29/08/2019 81 views 0 likes
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ESA's Optical Ground Station
Enabling & Support

Using lasers to track space debris

28/08/2019 124 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

Developing smart, antistatic wires and cables

27/08/2019 119 views 6 likes
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The Ariane-5 cryogenic vulcain engine
Enabling & Support

Better predictions of two phase flow in liquid propulsion s…

27/08/2019 49 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

How to burn up a reaction wheel in the atmosphere

26/08/2019 58 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

Next Generation of Optical Pyrotechnics

31/07/2019 149 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

Best solid state optical switch technology defined for space

30/07/2019 80 views 1 likes
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BRAVE FPGAs
Enabling & Support

Reprogrammable FPGAs demonstrate potential of multi functio…

29/07/2019 95 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

Unparalleled shock tube will mean better entry vehicles

24/07/2019 85 views 2 likes
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A new refueling mechanism called ASSIST
Enabling & Support

Docking mechanism could lead to refuelling satellites still…

16/07/2019 176 views 1 likes
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Galileo constellation
Enabling & Support

Optical inter-satellite links are best tech for Galileo

12/07/2019 164 views 2 likes
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A new wearable muscle monitoring system has been designed
Enabling & Support

Fitness tights help improve astronaut training regime

07/07/2019 86 views 0 likes
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Space Detectors
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New design promises faster and better X-Ray detection

05/07/2019 48 views 0 likes
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Enabling & Support

Cryogenic tests of new materials now possible

03/07/2019 84 views 2 likes
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Enabling & Support

New technology makes wind turbine blades environmentally fr…

27/06/2019 101 views 0 likes
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Merle Maigre on cyber-safety/-security for the Digital Technologies Working Days
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Concrete ideas rise out of Digital Working Days

24/06/2019 238 views 3 likes
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Enabling & Support

Passive re-entry capsule design shown to be best

24/06/2019 99 views 0 likes
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A projectile and deployer system to deorbit debris objects
Enabling & Support

Harpoon characterisation, breadboarding and testing for Act…

20/06/2019 67 views 0 likes
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Enabling & Support

Digital Receiver for Radiometer

14/06/2019 70 views 0 likes
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Enabling & Support

Plastic coatings for propulsion tanks are feasible

11/06/2019 71 views 0 likes
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Venus
Enabling & Support

Weather balloons for Venus

07/06/2019 128 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

New advanced manufacturing technique makes antenna 50% ligh…

05/06/2019 128 views 0 likes
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Artist's impression of JUICE
Enabling & Support

New radiation testing for missions

01/06/2019 54 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

Setting the agenda: Autonomous software makes planning easy

27/05/2019 113 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

New type of robotic arm and joints lighter than ever

24/05/2019 85 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

Design for first nanosat to rendezvous with asteroid begins

23/05/2019 542 views 4 likes
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T6 ion thruster firing
Enabling & Support

Low-erosion development could lead to longer-lived thrusters

16/05/2019 70 views 2 likes
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Collecting ideas at the ESA Grand Challenge
Enabling & Support

New call for AI, Cybersecurity and Digital Engineering ideas

07/05/2019 1037 views 3 likes
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e.Deorbit’s robotic arm
Enabling & Support

Frictionless pivot to help de-orbiting satellites

30/04/2019 85 views 1 likes
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RAT rover by night
Enabling & Support

Autonomous software makes planning easy

15/04/2019 105 views 0 likes
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Frame structure capable of damping random vibrations
Enabling & Support

Additive manufacturing for damping vibrations

09/04/2019 484 views 32 likes
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Can measure contamination in real time
Enabling & Support

Particle fallout sensor can measure contamination in real t…

01/04/2019 136 views 0 likes
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Flexible elements produced by Additive Manufacturing
Enabling & Support

Space hinges

29/03/2019 150 views 1 likes
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Working Days to discuss the main innovations our technology programmes
Enabling & Support

Digital Technologies Working Days

3600 views 6 likes
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GSTP activity breakthrough in miniaturised HTCC packaging
Enabling & Support

Ceramic sealing breakthrough for electronics packages

18/03/2019 163 views 2 likes
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GomX-4 pair
Enabling & Support

Apply for payload space on GOMX-5

12/03/2019 681 views 0 likes
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Explosions of satellites & rocket bodies
Enabling & Support

Non-exploding batteries

28/02/2019 183 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

Next Generation Solar Cells with an End of Life Efficiency …

22/02/2019 243 views 1 likes
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Enabling & Support

New welding technique outperforms old baseline

12/02/2019 116 views 1 likes
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The MyotonPRO device measures muscle tension
Enabling & Support

Measuring muscles in microgravity

24/01/2019 351 views 2 likes
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Enabling & Support

Waste not want not

15/01/2019 94 views 2 likes
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Laser from Optical Ground Station on Tenerife
Enabling & Support

New receiver means safer data encryption

09/01/2019 116 views 0 likes
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