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Redu Space Services To Build EDRS Mission Operation Centre
by Staff Writers
Redu, Belgium (SPX) Feb 09, 2012

File image: European Data Relay System (EDRS).

Redu Space Services (RSS) has announced that Astrium has awarded it a contract for the design, development, testing and delivery of the Mission Operation Centre (MOC) in the framework of the European Data Relay System (EDRS) programme .

The EDRS will provide bi-directional data transmission between Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) satellites and the ground almost in real-time and with broadband quality. EDRS is developed and implemented within a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Astrium Services.

As prime contractor, Astrium will build and operate the system infrastructure and provide the data transmission services. The company holds the exclusive rights to sell EDRS services to customers worldwide.

The European Union (EU), with its Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme and its Sentinel satellites, is intended to be the anchor tenant for the service, with additional capacity on the system marketed by Astrium Services to third-party users.

Leading a consortium consisting of Spacebel (Belgium), Edisoft (Portugal), Deimos (Portugal) and SES TechCom (Luxembourg), RSS will install the prime MOC system at Astrium's facilities in Ottobrunn, Germany.

This will be operated by Astrium Services, whereas a backup system at the ESA station in Redu, Belgium will be installed and operated by RSS. RSS will also be in charge of the lifetime maintenance and backup operations of the MOC system.

The contractual agreement also includes the hosting and maintenance of a backup TT and C (telemetry, tracking and command) and EDRS data reception antenna system in Redu, as well as the upgrading and expansion of the capabilities of this antenna system to facilitate the In-Orbit Testing of the EDRS payloads.

The commitment of Belgium to the EDRS programme offers attractive opportunities to Belgium-based companies working in the space sector.

"The heritage of RSS at the ESA station in Redu, the support of the shareholders QinetiQ Space and SES, and our intense cooperation in the proposal and negotiation phase are certainly some of the reasons why Astrium is putting its trust in us and awarded us this contract. We are delighted to start this cooperation, which will be a key milestone for RSS," said Jos Giannandrea, General Manager of RSS.

"Astrium Services is in a unique position to implement and operate the innovative EDRS service, as the company can capitalise on its extensive expertise as operator of Earth observation and telecom satellites as well as provider of Geo-information and Telecom satellite services. We are happy that we can count on RSS', QinetiQ's and SES' support to make EDRS a success for our service customers in Europe and world-wide," said Eric Beranger, CEO of Astrium Services.

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