Space Systems for Safety & Security (4S) represents an increase in ESA's efforts to support, under a new ARTES thematic framework, the following:

- European and Canadian satellite operators and manufacturing industry, including New Space actors, to develop advanced and competitive solutions to remain at the forefront of the safety and security global market and to ensure that new levels of security, robustness and resilience become mandatory requirements of space-based communication solutions.

- European and Canadian downstream industry and service providers, in delivering relevant space-based solutions and business models to user communities for innovative, economically sustainable space-based services addressing global safety and security needs.

- European and Canadian institutional and public bodies in seizing the potential of space systems for their own needs and in implementing their strategy.


4S Sactcom, driving safe and secure societies

Our activities encompass the following initiatives:

Systems and Services, technology and product development partnerships

4S leads activities in the development of new technologies, products, systems and services related to its main themes through invitations to tender, generic open calls and thematic calls for proposals. Next generation satellite communications systems and quantum key distribution solutions are targeted.

Learn more about 4S systems, technologies and product development

4S Downstream Services

4S supports and promotes the development of innovative downstream safety and security services enabled by existing space systems as well as next generation satcom infrastructure that may be deployed over the next decade.

Learn more about our 4S permanent open call 


Find out more about our 4S thematic announcements of opportunities:  

OPS-SAT Space Lab Flight Opportunity for Space Cybersecurity Services | ESA Business Applications​ 

Space Applications Supporting Digital Transformation in Public Safety  

Space in Response to Humanitarian Crises  

Satellite Connectivity for Autonomous Land Vehicle Safety

Space for Aviation Safety Evolution

Space for Resilient Utilities 




The Iris Programme aims to make aviation safer, greener and more efficient by developing a new satellite-based air–ground communication system for Air Traffic Management (ATM), in partnership with Inmarsat. By 2028, Iris will enable full 4D trajectory management over airspaces across the globe and the data link will be the primary means of communications between controllers and cockpit crews.

Learn more about IRIS



The European Commission and ESA are working on a satellite quantum key distribution system that would have pan-European reach.

Learn more about SAGA


Govsatcom Precursor 

The Govsatcom Precursor responds to the growing need in Europe for secure communications for applications such as crisis management and maritime safety.  Access to secure satellite communications is of paramount importance to governments, as these can provide massive added value to, for example, humanitarian missions, disaster response and infrastructure monitoring. This is why ESA’s Govsatcom Precursor is dedicated to showing how the European space industry can support the EU’s Govsatcom initiative, which aims to pool and share governmental and commercial satellite services to provide secure and guaranteed access to satcom for Europe’s public sector.

Learn more about 4S - Govsatcom Precursor