Opportunity: 5G Automotive Antenna Prototype and Demonstration

ARTES 4.0 SPL 5G/6G 7C.084


The automotive sector is a key target area for future 5G systems, as new standards require the integration of mobile communications into vehicles. However, antennas providing seamless connectivity in vehicles are not yet available, due to many technological and commercial challenges, which cannot be addressed in isolation. Antennas for satellite-connected cars can be designed for various frequency bands (e.g., L-, S-, Ku- and/or Ka-Band), require compatibility with terrestrial and other satellite services (e.g., satellite radio and navigation) and must satisfy the requirements of the automotive market. 


This activity will lead to the design of a class of low-profile and conformal antennas, following a holistic approach where all main stakeholders (i.e., antenna technology provider, car manufacturer, satellite/terrestrial operator) are involved in the antenna design. This includes aspects such as:

  • Selection of at least one use-case and system definition: frequency bands (e.g., S-, Ku-, Ka-Band), satellite type and orbits (e.g. LEO, MEO, GEO and/or HEO).
  • Optimisation of the system architecture, with the aim of simplifying the automotive antenna.
  • Selection of a vehicle class and associated environmental and safety constraints.
  • Co-design of the antenna/vehicle chassis, where the satellite terminal antenna aperture is embedded in the chassis frame, roof and/or other conformal structure, to guarantee a suitable aperture size and orientation, whilst minimising the impact on the vehicle design and aesthetics.
  • End-to-end demonstration of the prototype system with two or more vehicles, validating the target use-case(s).


ESA’s Space for 5G/6G and Sustainable Connectivity Strategic Programme Line (SPL) has been set up to support the space sector to deliver cost effective technology solutions for 5G and 6G. The 5G/6G SPL provides funding for activities and projects aimed at the common strategic goal of supporting the digitalisation of business and society; this is conducted in coordination with related 5G/6G initiatives at European and national level in various Member States.

You can find more information here: Space for 5G | ESA TIA


This activity is an approved ARTES Space for 5G/6G Workplan activity with a total budget of 5M Euro and planned for release by Q4 2023. The Activity appears in the Workplan 2023 (Ref. 7C.084, 5G automotive antenna prototype and demonstration). 

ESA will release the open competitive Invitation to Tender (ITT). Eligibility will be restricted to any company and/or organisation, public body, or non-governmental organisation, residing in any of the participating states: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Spain, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, United Kingdom.

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 event that several proposals of good quality targeting different and/or complementary aspects are submitted, ESA reserves the right to place parallel contracts for each of the open competitive ITTs in coordination with the relevant national delegations.

Your tender must be submitted in electronic format only via esa-star tendering [see: https://esastar.sso.esa.int/]


ARTES 4.0 CC Summary Flyer
ARTES 4.0 Core Competitiveness: An Overview (presentation)
ARTES 5G Specific Programme Line
ARTES 4.0 Work Plan  


European Space Agency and GSMA carry forward future of connectivity after Mobile World Congres…

The close of Mobile World Congress, MWC Barcelona for short, has been hailed as a huge success by the engineers of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Space for 5G/6G programme line and the global mobile innovation organisation, GSMA – not just for…

Space for 5G/6G partners with GSMA for funding opportunities and launch of connectivity initiatives

Two new funding opportunities in a partnership between the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Space for 5G/6G programme line and the GSMA Foundry have been unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain. The…

European Space Agency-funded continuously connected autonomous shuttle completes two-year trial

A two-year trial for a UK-based autonomous vehicle, which makes use of communications technology developed by the Darwin Innovation Group and co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK Space Agency, has been successful. The milestone…

TIA celebrates Automotive Memoranda of Understanding with 5GAA and BMW Group

ESA is actively working to accelerate the use of space within the automotive sector, celebrating the signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA) and BMW Group.

Space-enabled 5G links Japan and Europe

Engineers have connected Japan and Europe via space-enabled next-generation 5G telecommunication links. It is the first time that such an intercontinental connection has been established between Europe and Japan.

ESA industry day celebrates UK innovation

British companies are using satellite-enabled connectivity to accelerate the digital transformation of the European economy – as highlighted at an industry showcase held in the UK.

5G end-to-end link first at ESA 5G hub

A demonstration at the ESA/ECSAT facilities in Harwell today achieved the first 5G full end-to-end link through a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. The event used a super compact electronic antenna terminal, powered by SatixFy UK, to…

How space is connecting cars

Today’s connected cars are dynamic, updateable devices – and, because they can be updated, they are well equipped to become tomorrow’s cars. ESA is working with European carmakers to ensure that connected vehicles harness the full potential of…