Satellite system

Avanti Communications has been awarded funding to define a European Data Relay Satellite system for the European Space Agency.


London-based broadband satellite operator, Avanti Communications, has been awarded funding to define a European Data Relay Satellite (EDRS) system for the European Space Agency (ESA).



Avanti will use ESA’s funding to investigate the possibility of using EDRS payloads as a carrier to one of its future satellites by a potential EDRS operator, Telespazio.



The EDRS is expected to provide communications services to future low Earth-orbiting observation satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles, providing continuous data to users on the ground. Currently, most communication from low Earth-orbit satellites are intermittent and not in real time as they are only able to transmit data when they pass over fixed ground stations.



The group is also working with Global Invacom on a separate ESA-funded project, which aims to develop an integrated Ka-band terminal for use on HylasOne. The terminal is hoped to provide access to broadband connectivity for users in rural parts of Europe.



David Williams, chief executive of Avanti, said: ‘I am pleased to announce further collaboration with ESA. These projects help us to drive forward applications for our capacity and make our technology more efficient. Given the importance now placed on satellite broadband in the Digital Britain plan, it is very useful to have strong support from ESA in enhancing technology and business models further.’