The European Space Agency (ESA) has confirmed that its most advanced communications satellite will be launched in July aboard an Ariane 5.

Called Artemis, the 3,100kg (6,800lb) spacecraft, will test and develop new areas of mobile communications and navigation and also initiate a European data relay system.

Artemis will be placed into geostationary orbit at 21.5°E over the equator. It carries S-band, new Ka-band and optical payloads to help kick-start new terrestrial communications and navigation applications.


The satellite will provide L-band voice and data communications between mobile terminals, mainly for cars, trucks or boats in remote areas of Europe and North Africa and well as ships in the Atlantic.

As a key element of Europe's EGNOS satellite navigation system, Artemis will broadcast GPS-like navigation signals containing integrity and differential correction information applicable to the navigation signals of GPS and Glonass satellites.

Using its optical payload, Artemis will demonstrate the technology that will allow high data rate communications links directly between satellites. The system, called Silex, is a semi-conductor laser inter-satellite communications payload.

It is anticipated that the satellite will influence many areas in the commercial world of the future.

Source: Flight Daily News