New satellites going to space, with portuguese technology

22 June 2020

ESA is going to launch into space half a hundred new satellites. One of them has a portuguese contribution.

The European Space Agency (ESA) will launch 53 satellites into space, using the Arianespace Vega launcher on the VV16 mission. Within the group of new satellites entering the space is the “eSail“, which was developed with the help of technology from the Portuguese company EDISOFT.

This satellite aims to monitor ships from space with greater efficiency than until now, allowing the scope of this monitoring to go beyond just coastal areas. Thus, not only will the fishing fleets be under greater control, but the more protected marine ecosystems will be and all entities operating at sea will have greater security in their operations.

In a statement released to the press, Portugal Space explains how EDISOFT’s technology was involved in the process:

“Initially invited to customise the RTEMS to the specificities of eSail, Edisoft end up being responsible for the development of the Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE) system. Besides testing the assembly and integration of all the systems onboard the satellite, the EGSE system also allows the remote operation of the spacecraft from Earth”.

EDISOFT also commented in a statement regarding this achievement:

“EDISOFT’s presence in yet another space project demonstrates the team’s credibility, as well as its entire system development and integration capacity, from the development of on-board software to the implementation of systems for remote operation of satellites”.

But there is also another Portuguese company involved in the technology of “eSail”, Evoleo Technologies, which integrated the project later. According to its CEO, Rodolfo Martins, cited in the Portugal Space statement, Evoleo was responsible for coordinating technical specifics and the interface between EDISOFT and LuxSpace (leading company of this project) and also supporting the development and implementation of the EGSE hardware.

This mission is the first Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) and aims also to reduce the costs of placing satellites in orbit.

The launch of Vega was scheduled for the 18th of June, but the atmospheric conditions (wind in altitude) forced its postponement. August 17th is the new date for the mission that will deposit the “eSail” and 52 other satellites around 500 kilometers from Earth.

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