The TIA Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme enables European and Canadian industry to explore, through research and development (R&D) activities, innovative concepts to produce leading-edge satcom products and services. ARTES offers varying degrees of support to projects with different levels of operational and commercial maturity. The scope and plans for its pursuit are incorporated into the Telecommunications Long-Term Plan (TLTP), the blueprint for ESA's actions over a five-year time frame.
Businesses located within ESA member states involved in the satcom industry - whether small or large, new or experienced - can submit proposals via the various elements of the ARTES programme. Every ARTES element includes a funding framework and follows certain criteria that must be met by satcom companies wishing to participate.
At the JCB meeting on 17 December, 2015, it was announced that many of the programme elements were renamed. The current and previous names of the ARTES elements are:
- Future Preparations (previously ARTES 1 Preparatory) is dedicated to strategic analysis, market analysis, technology and system feasibility studies and to the support of satellite communication standards.
- Competitiveness & Growth (previously ARTES 3-4 Products) is dedicated to the development, qualification, and demonstration of products. The word product in this case has a wide meaning; it can be a piece of equipment, either of the platform or payload of a satellite, it can also be a user terminal or a full telecom system integrating a network with its respective space segment. Telecommunication applications can also be undertaken under the terms of this element.
- Advanced Technology (previously ARTES 5 Technology) is dedicated to long-term technological development, either based on ESA’s initiative, or on the initiative of the satcom industry.
- European Data Relay Satellite System (EDRS) (previously ARTES 7 EDRS) is dedicated to the development and implementation of an European Data Relay Satellite (EDRS) system. Data relay satellites are satellites placed in geostationary orbit to relay information to/from non-geostationary satellites, spacecraft, other vehicles and fixed Earth stations, which otherwise are not able to permanently transmit/receive data.
- Large Platform Mission (LPM) (previously ARTES 8 Alphabus/Alphasat) is dedicated to the development and deployment of Alphasat, the first unit of the Alphabus Platform jointly developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space. Launched in July 2013, Alphasat is operated by Inmarsat. It incorporates innovative on-board processing technology and promotes development of novel user services.
- Satellite Communication for Air Traffic Management (Iris) (previously ARTES 10 Iris) is a satellite-based communication system that will be part of an air traffic management system currently being developed under the SESAR programme of the EU, by Eurocontrol and the European Aeronautical community.
- Small Geostationary Satellite (SGEO) (previously ARTES 11 Small GEO) is a telecommunications satellite platform capable of accommodating a wide range of commercial payloads and missions, from TV broadcasting to multimedia applications, Internet access and mobile or fixed services in a wide range of frequency bands. SmallGEO's new, modular and flexible design will boost European industry’s ability to play a significant role in commercial satcoms by easing entry into the lower mass class telecom satellite market.
- Next Generation Platform (NEOSAT) (previously ARTES 14 Neosat) is a specific element dedicated to developing the “Next Generation Platform”, in partnership with industry. The programme is specifically aimed at developing, and demonstrating in orbit, new satellite platform product lines for 3 to 6 tonne geostationary satellites.
- Integrated Applications Promotion (previously ARTES 20 IAP) is dedicated to the development, implementation and pilot operations of Integrated Applications. These are applications of space systems that combine different types of satellites, such as telecommunications, earth observation and navigation. Integrated Application projects offer solutions that range from secure transport systems to developing emergency/disaster management systems.
- Satellite – Automatic Identification System (SAT-AIS) (previously ARTES 21 SAT-AIS) The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is a short range coastal tracking system currently used on ships. It was developed to provide identification and position information to vessel and shore stations. Space-based, or SAT-AIS will provide AIS data via satellite, allowing for the detection of seafaring vessels equipped with AIS tracking devices.
- ARTES 33 Partner is a new programme element to provide the satcom industry with an efficient framework to bring innovative products and systems into the marketplace through industry-generated public–private partnerships.