Invitation to tender: First phase for 4S system & services test bed

First Phaser for 4S System & Services Test Bed  ESA-STAR Reference: AO 1-10949
  Invitation to tender: First Phase for 4S System & Services Test Bed 
  Opening date: 07 March 2022
  Closing date: 16 May 2022 






At the beginning of a complex telecommunication system design and development, which implies the deployment of various services, it is very difficult to evaluate the systems and services Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and eventually verify their value for the final users.

As part of the ARTES 4.0 Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S) strategic action, the present Invitation to Tender (ITT) aims to define, specify, and develop the first core elements of an incremental test bed to be used in support of complex telecommunication systems and services design verification and validation. The target systems and services are future next generation SATCOM Systems, based on multi-orbital constellations (LEO, MEO and GEO) and offering Governmental Satellite Communications services as well as mass market communications.


The objective of the activity is to define, specify and develop the basic core elements of an incremental 4S System & Services Test Bed (4SSTB) which shall support a suitable selection of missions and services.

The 4SSTB should be capable of testing real applications and services over IP networking, but also the underlying subsystems at all levels as well as system functionalities:

  • To enable the capability of simulating, emulating, and validating the system key performances and user Key Performance Indicators from the beginning of the system definition phases. 
  • To enable testing of user terminals (products or prototypes) for early performance verification in realistic system scenarios. 
  • To verify the performance impact of new technologies and techniques at ground/payload system level within the simulated/emulated system scenario.
  • The first phase of the test bed shall:
  • Define the overall architecture and the modularity needed by the test bed.
  • Implement the first core of the test bed, starting from the analysis of the planned services, their definition and specification.
  • Achieve a first level of test bed whose maturity will allow final users of the selected services to measure/validate new services performances through the emulated environment provided by the test bed, representing different possible architectures and designs.


For this activity, the Agency has defined a maximum budget of 2,000,000 EUR. 


We look for teams having technical expertise to understand the needs and scenarios of Next Generation SATCOM Systems, derive service and system requirements and develop an innovative test bed.

For this ITT, companies or organisations residing in the following Member States will be eligible to apply: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Bidding teams are requested to obtain a Letter of Authorisation from all the respective national delegations before submitting the Proposal.


Responding to an open competitive Invitation to Tender (ITT) requires the submission of a Proposal. The Proposal will be evaluated according to ESA regulations and procedures.

The consequential evaluation of proposals results in a recommendation for a winning bid. In the case that several proposals of good quality targeting different and/or complementary aspects are submitted, the Agency reserves the right to place parallel contracts for each of the open competitive ITTs in coordination with the relevant national delegations.

Your tender shall be submitted exclusively in electronic format via esa-star Tendering [see:]


The Prime and all subcontractors must register as potential bidders via esa-star, prior to downloading the official tender documents from esa-star and submitting their Proposal. The registration process needs to be started as soon as possible, as it will take time to complete.

Published 20 January 2022
Last updated at 07 March 2022 - 16:02