The European Space Agency’s Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems (ESA’s ARTES) is a program focused on developing products and services for the satellite communication sector in Europe and Canada. ESA’s Telecommunications and Integrated Applications (TIA) directorate oversees ARTES and provides technological support, facilitates market and industry research, and promotes satcom standards for European agencies. ARTES is designed to help Canadian and European companies compete in the competitive global satcom market. [1] [2]



Alphasat is a satellite launched in 2013 to expand the mobile network of Inmarsat (a British satellite telecommunications company), test the feasibility of a laser communications system for GEO-LEO links at 1064nm, conduct experiments in the Q/V radio bands for future commercial applications, host an advanced star tracking mechanism with an active pixel detector, and carry an environment effects facility that monitors how radiation in GEO affects electronic instruments. It is designed to operate for 15 years. [3] [4]

EDRS – European Data Relay System

The EDRS is a GEO system of relay satellites designed to facilitate communication between European LEO satellites and ground stations regardless of either’s location to the other. EDRS operates using both laser communication and traditional RF bands, specifically S-, Ku-, and Ka-bands. [5]


Iris is a program in development by ARTES to create a satellite-based communication system for air traffic management. ARTES aims to have the program fully operational by 2028. [6]