Future Preparation is the strategy element of ESA’s Telecommunications programme. Its primary purpose is to identify new market opportunities for industry, define future technology development needs, ensure future access to frequency spectrum, create growth by developing new industry standards and build new ARTES programmatic activity.

In order to meet these goals, and ensure ARTES remains relevant to the needs of the Industry it supports, Future Preparation effort is conducted through a number of parallel streams: 

  • Gathering and analysing business intelligence and market information: related to the global Satellite Communications sector, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, as well as global economic and industrial trends and developments.
  • Establishing and maintaining close relations and a continuous dialogue with industrial, academic, and institutional players from across the Satellite Communications sector: in order to properly understand, influence, and support their future development and growth plans.
  • Studying and developing new Satcom system concepts and applications: including new satellite system architectures, new services and applications, improving integration and interoperation with terrestrial systems, and exploring spin-in from other relevant high technology application areas.
  • Identifying future technology development needs: for execution under other ARTES elements, either in terms of technology feasibility demonstrations, product and system development support, or in-orbit validation and demonstration needs.
  • Ensuring access to radio spectrum: identifying spectrum access requirements for new and future systems, advocating for the Satcom sector in securing new and protecting existing allocations, promoting efficient sharing and interoperation between Satcom systems and terrestrial networks.
  • Supporting standardisation activities: in order to promote fair and equal market access within the Satcom sector e.g. modulation and coding standards, communication protocols, ground terminal standards, test and verification methods, and equipment interoperability.
  • Supporting Regulatory Efforts: for example, to help overcome access barriers to space, access to global markets, and related to the long-term sustainable exploitation of the space environment.
  • Defining and building new ARTES 4.0 programmatic activity: creating the next group of Strategic Programme Lines for the ARTES 4.0 programme, identifying new programmatic structures to support the development and growth of the Satcom sector, as well as building partnership opportunities with industrial actors.


Study activities conducted by industry and institutions under the Future Preparation programme are fully funded by ESA.


Authorisation from a national delegate is not required to participate in Future Preparation activity.


Studies and investigations can be conducted by industry and institutions based in all Member States participating in the ESA Telecommunications programme;

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada


Future Preparation activities are chiefly implemented through a Rolling Work Plan that is continuously updated as needs develop across the Satcom sector. The topics covered by the Rolling Work Plan are based in part on the results of the ARTES Call for Ideas that is continuously open to participating Member States’ satellite industries, satellite operators, service providers, universities and research centres. Invitations To Tender for the activities of the Work Plan are generally issued in open competition.


You can find more information at:

ARTES Future Preparation Explained

ARTES 4.0 Call For Ideas


Opportunity: Concepts for ultra-large aperture antennas (ARTES FPE 1A.113)

Satellite antenna size and the data throughput achievable in a satellite communications channel are directly related, but the benefits from an increased aperture size can also be used to enable access to smaller ground antennas or to improve…

Opportunity: Towards Standardised Inter-Satellite Link Solutions (ARTES FPE 1A.116)

There has been a steady growth  in the number of new satcom systems announcing plans to make use of RF Inter-Satellite Link technology. In addition to reducing the complexity and cost of the associated terrestrial infrastructure, ISL technology…

Opportunity: Advanced Broadband Satcom Solutions for Rotary Wing Aircraft (ARTES FPE 1B.136)

Despite steady order growth for helicopters and an almost exponential growth in rotary wing UAVs worldwide, outside of military and defence applications the utilisation of satellite connectivity onboard such rotary wing aircraft is still somewhat…

REISSUED - Opportunity: Single Channel Full Duplex Techniques for Satellite Communications (ART…

In most satellite communication systems, full duplex operation (i.e., simultaneous transmit and receive functionality) is achieved by using two separate frequency channels with spectral filtering employed to achieve the required isolation between…

Space for Inspiration: Business Edition 2022

Sign up now to join the growing community to discuss the future of commercialisation in exploration. This event is a must for key players in commercialisation ranging from private industry, to public organisations and space agencies to financial…

Opportunity: Open-Source Satellite Constellation Simulator

The communications satellite manufacturing industry is going through a period of profound change. For decades, the primary source of sector revenue has been from building systems designed to operate in geostationary orbits. Within the last few…

The Moon – where no satnav has gone before

The test version of a unique satellite navigation receiver has been delivered for integration testing on the Lunar Pathfinder spacecraft. The NaviMoon satnav receiver is designed to perform the farthest ever positioning fix from Earth, employing…

Opportunity: The Application of Neuromorphic Processors to SatCom Applications

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to play a major role in the automation of future satcom systems, enabled by the significant advances in Machine Learning (ML) techniques of recent years. However, the computer processors that AI algorithms will…

Final Presentation Webinar - ARTES Future Preparation Machine Learnin…

ESA would like to invite you to the Final Presentation Webinar of the ARTES Future Preparation (FP) activity Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for Satellite Telecommunications.

This Webinar will take place on the 9th of June at…

ESA Satcom Final Presentation Days 2019

This is a unique opportunity to gain an overview of all the recently completed activities and to discuss them with colleagues from both ESA and industry across the satellite telecommunications sector.

5G Round Table – ESA and Space Industry preparing a European Solution

A recent event organised by ESA focussed on role satcoms will play in the realisation of 5G networks.

2017 ARTES Future Preparation Final Presentation Days

This annual event is to share the results of recently completed Future Preparation (formerly ARTES 1) activities. Registration for the event is free and open to anyone based in the ARTES Participating States.