Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S) User Studies

  • ActivityFeasibility Study
  • Opening date 13-07-2020
  • Closing date 30-09-2020

Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S) User Studies

Satellite applications for Public Safety


Our society and economy are increasingly dependent on secure telecommunications networks. These networks are required for the secure operation of critical infrastructures, governmental services or in transport. They may constitute a systemic point of failure with major safety and security threats, in particular during disruptions caused by natural or human-made disasters or by cyberattacks. Satellite communications can provide a secure space component as a self-standing element or in complement to the terrestrial telecommunications system. Terrestrial networks may benefit from satellite communication infrastructure to reduce vulnerability and increase the overall resilience.

The European Space Agency has initiated a new ARTES Strategic Programme Line dedicated to “Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S)”. It is aimed at supporting the development of safe and secure satellite communication systems to improve digital European telecommunication infrastructure resilience. Additionally, the 4S programme aims to support the development of security and safety applications and their adoption in the coming decade by relevant user communities and institutional/public governing bodies.

In support of the ARTES 4.0 4S initiative, ESA Space Solutions is launching three new invitations to tender for user studies aimed at identifying and assessing the needs for new applications which will benefit from future secure satcom infrastructures, as well as other space and non-space technologies. Such needs shall be established in cooperation with users and stakeholders from the essential services, transport and public safety vertical sectors. 

The proposed studies shall establish a dialogue with the user communities to contribute to the identification of the needs and the definition of the system requirements for the future secure satcom systems. Furthermore, they shall establish a roadmap towards developing the identified services and showcasing them to a defined set of users and potential customers. It is envisaged that the studies will be followed by a set of precursor demonstrations proving the benefits of the proposed safety and security applications.


Three separate Calls for Tenders will be issued: 

  • Safeguarding Essential Services (emits ref: AO 10315, closed)
  • Safety of Future Transport (emits ref: AO 10317, closed)
  • Satellite applications for Public Safety (emits ref: AO 10316, open)


  • The activities will be 100% funded up to €250K per activity.


We look for teams having technical and business expertise as well as already established connections with user communities in the target vertical sectors. They should be capable to understand user needs and scenarios, define new applications and services, and derive service and system requirements, including for satellite communications services.  

For this call, companies residing in the following Member States will be eligible to apply: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Bidding teams are requested to obtain a Letter of Authorisation from all the respective national delegations before submitting the Proposal.

ESA Tender Information 

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, prior to downloading the official tender documents from EMITS (which will be available as soon as the ITT is open, in April 2020) and submitting their Proposal. The registration process needs to be started as soon as possible, as it will take time to complete.