ESA title

Space for Cycle Pollution Monitoring and Reduction

  • Activity Feasibility Study
  • Opening date 01-02-2021
  • Closing date 15-03-2021


Monitoring and reducing pollution of air, water and soil and ensuring a high level of protection of the environment taken as a whole is a key challenge. Pollution is a contamination or introduction of substance or object which has a negative or disturbing effect on the environment and when emitted can become harmful in a variety of ways. Injection of pollutants into the atmosphere and/or soil and/or water disturb the natural composition of the air, soil and water. Substances such as excessive harmful gases, or dust, cannot be removed from the ecosystem through the natural cycle. The pollutants entering the water cycle can move throughout the Earth connecting the ocean, land and atmosphere and paving the way to a "pollution cycle".

With this new opportunity, in collaboration with European cities, ESA aims to support the development of innovative space-based applications which can contribute to the monitoring and reduction of the pollution in air, water and soil minimising environmental impacts in several vertical sectors such as transport, industry and agriculture.

Key focus areas

  • Monitoring and reduction of emissions from the urban environment
  • Helping farmers to monitor and reduce emissions
  • Monitoring and reduction of industrial pollution
  • Protecting the environment: air/water/soil pollution 


Space technologies and data can play a key role in the development and implementation of the services.


Satellite Navigation (SatNav):

  • Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) will contribute to locate where the emissions measurements are taken and to pinpoint the position of the source where most of the emissions are generated.
  • GNSS is required for RPAs and HAPS operations. Positioning information will be able to provide geo-tagging services for data collection.

Satellite Communication (SatCom): 

  • Satellite Communications can safely and securely relay information from M2M sensors placed in remote areas, where terrestrial connectivity is not present or in case of terrestrial network failures. 
  • SatCom can be used to provide Command and Control as well as payload communications for drones.
  • The convergence between SatCom and terrestrial communications in the future 5G mobile network will be a key enabler for satisfying the requirements of high-speed, reliable and secure communications.

 Satellite Earth Observation (EO):

  • Sat EO data provides diverse geospatial, environmental, mapping information.
  • In combination with demographic and other geospatial data, they can be used to support the assessment of the impact on environment and population.


ESA Space Solutions will provide funding to successful teams looking to investigate the technical feasibility and economic viability of space-based applications which can contribute to the monitoring and reduction of the pollution in air, water and soil minimizing environmental impacts in the vertical sectors of transport, industry,  utilities and agriculture. Such services shall benefit from utilizing space-based data.  The study shall establish the roadmap for service implementation through a potential follow-on demonstration project.

The activities will be 100% funded up to €200K per activity.


We’re looking for teams that have identified potentially attractive market opportunities for services in the monitoring and detection of pollution cycles. Motivation, business experience and domain expertise are all important features. We want to hear about your ideas for developing services commercially viable, technically feasible business ideas that involve either space technology or space data. For this call, companies residing in the following Member States will be eligible to apply: (AT, BE, CH, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, HU, IE, IT, LU, NL, NO, PL, PT, RO, SE).


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

For the fully detailed Proposal Guide on competitive ITTs click: Open Competition.


The Prime and all subcontractors must register as potential bidders via esa-star. The registration process needs to be started as soon as possible, as it will take time to complete.


• 20 January 2021, 11:00 CET (Revised date)