DLR, Thales Alenia Space, SES Develop Innovative Space-Based Air Traffic Control Monitoring System

In the presence of the Luxembourg Minister of Higher Education and Research, Mrs. Martine Hansen, and Prof. Hansjörg Dittus, Executive Board Member of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), SES TechCom S.A., a subsidiary of SES S.A. signed a long term agreement with its strategic partners DLR and Thales Alenia Space Germany for the joint development of the first European space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) constellation to monitor and optimize air traffic control around the globe.

SESLogoThe agreement follows the successful launch of the ADS-B payload developed by DLR, which is currently operated on board the Proba V satellite and continuously provides global ADS-B data to the mission processing & analysis centre developed and operated by SES TechCom S.A.

This pioneering payload developed by DLR will be followed by the in orbit validation mission, which will demonstrate the full technical scope of space-based ADS-B. The European Space Agency has contracted Thales Germany for the development of this next generation ADS-B system, which is progressing on schedule with strong participation of the Luxembourg space industry, such as LuxSpace, with the TRITON micro-satellite platform to support the future demonstration mission.

States Prof. Hansjörg Dittus, DLR: “The promising results of the proof of concept mission demonstrate the potential of space-based ADS-B for global air traffic monitoring and control, especially in areas not covered by ground-based radar such as oceans or deserts. Aircraft will remain continuously visible during their journeys around the globe by providing their position, altitude, velocity vector and relevant telemetry data to ground controllers and other suitably equipped planes on an automatic basis. The agreement is in the interest of DLR and underlines the good relationship and strong cooperation between the German and Luxembourgish space industry.”

Sven Carstensen, CEO Thales Alenia Space Germany, elaborated: “Putting ADS-B, a field-proven terrestrial surveillance concept, onto satellites will further enhance safety and efficiency of modern air traffic around the entire globe in the foreseeable future. Combining European leaders’ competences and capabilities in this promising technology will open and secure new business opportunities for Europe worldwide. This will help us to master growing demand for air transportation and to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions”.

Gerhard Bethscheider, Managing Director of SES TechCom S.A., added: “The development of the space-based air traffic control is part of SES’ strategic initiative to drive innovation in space and broadcasting technologies. Today´s agreement bundles the ADS-B related know-how and core competencies of three committed partners that have a reputation for excellence in space. It will support the efficient knowledge transfer between the teams and therefore will significantly shorten the development phase for a space-based ADS-B constellation.”
Minister Martine Hansen concluded: “This agreement and the in-orbit demonstration currently running on the PROBA-V mission would never have been possible without Luxembourg’s membership in the European Space Agency. The efforts pursued by the Luxembourg Government over the last 10 years in this domain are starting to bear fruit and to lead to very innovative and promising projects such as satellite-based ADS-B.”


Nippon Television Network Corporation Taps SES’ ASTRA 3B Satellite
One of the leading commercial broadcasters in Japan, Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV), chose SES as its satellite operator of choice to provide live transmissions of three key sporting events in Europe.

The capacity contracted on board SES’ ASTRA 3B satellite was utilised for the contribution of the World Wrestling Championship 2013 in Budapest, the Japan-Serbia football match and the Japan-Belarus football match over the months of September and October.

“We are impressed with the SES team’s responsiveness to our business needs and their 24/7 availability and flexibility to ensure we will have a flawless live broadcast of the sporting event. The comprehensive coverage of ASTRA 3B satellite and its high-powered beams make it ideal for us to broadcast these important sporting events from across Europe into Japan,” said Aki Tsuchida, Deputy Senior Advisor, International Satellite Operations at NTV.

“This first partnership with NTV on an ASTRA satellite speaks of our commitment to offer ubiquitous global coverage to customers around the world and to ensure our customers can broadcast live sporting events seamlessly,” said Samantha McCloskey, Vice President of Global Occasional Use Services and Special Events at SES. “We are pleased that NTV is satisfied with the high level of professionalism shown by the SES Occasional Use team and the excellent coverage of ASTRA 3B over Europe, and hope to continue to provide them with future occasional use capacity for their business needs.”

ASTRA Distrbuted Programs of Mediengruppe RTL in Switzerland
SES announced that the Swiss programs RTL CH and RTL II CH will be broadcast from ASTRA’s orbital position 19.2 degrees East from 2014 onwards. With the change, all four Swiss versions of the German RTL channels will be available on ASTRA: RTL CH, RTL II CH, Super RTL CH and Vox CH. RTL has contracted additional satellite capacity for the transmission of the channels.

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