ESA Signs Agreement to Support In-Orbit Demonstration of Spectrum Monitoring Services

The European Space Agency (ESA), RHEA System Luxembourg, LuxSpace Sarl, Aurora Insight and the European Business Reliance Centre (EBRC) are joining forces for the development and deployment of a European Spectrum Monitoring System leveraging their respective core capabilities. A Memorandum of Intent (MoI) was signed last week in Luxembourg by Elodie Viau, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA, together with industry representatives.

The on-going developments in 5th and 6th Generation of communication networks (5G and 6G) as well as associated terrestrial and space spectrum management solutions provide a unique opportunity for developing applications and services leveraging on space assets and terrestrial assets. As the demand for seamless data communications increases, it is important the frequency spectrum is effectively monitored. The common objective of the signatories is to coordinate with regards to the development and deployment of a European Spectrum Monitoring System.

Through its ARTES (Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems) programme, ESA is forging strong links between institutions, industries, and business to support the competitiveness of European industry on the world market. It provides technical expertise in space-based technologies, applications and downstream services, supported in particular through the framework of the ARTES 4.0 Programme and the three Strategic Programme Lines, namely “Space for 5G and 6G”, “Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S)” and “Optical and Quantum Communications”. ESA has implemented several Partnership Projects through its ARTES programme to provide the satellite communication industry with the right environment to introduce innovative space-based solutions systems into the commercial market. The industry interests align well with ESA’s initiative, ELAINE, also seeking to support the development of key capabilities in spectrum monitoring, leveraging on novel solutions based on configurable spectrum sensing technologies and cloud-based artificial intelligence solutions enabling the smart analysis of vast amounts of spectrum information.

The MoI represents a stepping-stone to roll out an innovative space-ground integrated solution to operationally tackle diverse European challenges and trusted applications such as 5G/6G terrestrial spectrum monitoring, secure integrated communications applications for IoT and ubiquitous assets localisation on Earth and at sea. 
Building on its international experience as an integrated services provider, RHEA Group‘s objective is to operate and exploit the resulting Spectrum Monitoring service from within Luxembourg in order to support European commercial and institutional stakeholders in addressing the stringent and increasing spectrum challenges.

The proposed European Spectrum Monitoring System will leverage on Aurora Insight technologies to be launched onto LuxSpace’s TritonX low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite infrastructure, while the ground-based data processing and data storage systems and services would use EBRC’s Trusted Cloud Europe solution.

“As the roll out of 5G is taking up all across Europe, it is important we effectively monitor the valuable resource of frequency spectrum. I am pleased to join forces with European industry to bring together our collective expertise and lead the implementation of space-based secure European Spectrum Monitoring System. This is a great example of how New Space solutions can address 5G/6G European spectrum challenges, foster the economy and bring added value to consumers and citizens,” says Elodie Viau, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA.

Elodie Viau, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA, pictured with the other signatories.


Published 06 December 2021
Last updated at 20 January 2022 - 10:33