Arthur D. Little Partners with European Space Agency to Deliver Multiple SatCom Studies

Arthur D. Little (ADL) has been awarded multiple high impact projects by the European Space Agency (ESA) to help identify the most promising services for next generation satellite communication (SatCom) infrastructure. ADL will conduct a consultation process with members of the transport, energy, infrastructure and media industries, plus stakeholders in law enforcement and emergency services, to identify and assess potential applications and services that could be delivered via satellite in the next decade.

ADL will be responsible for four studies in total. Three of the studies are part of the Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) 4.0 Strategic Program Line “Space Systems for Safety and Security” (4S), and are supported by the Italian Space Agency:

  • Safety of Future Transport
  • Safeguarding Essential Services
  • Satellite Applications for Public Safety

As part of its ‘Open Consulting’ approach, ADL will conduct these studies with input from Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale (DTA).

The fourth study is an ARTES4.0 Business Applications Feasibility Study and is supported by the Norwegian Space Agency:

  • Port of the Future

ADL says it will conduct this study in collaboration with Marlink and CLS.

With society and the economy dependent on telecommunications networks, the aim of 4S is to support the development of secure SatCom systems to both improve digital infrastructure resilience across Europe and the rest of the world, and provide innovative services and solutions. As terrestrial networks become increasingly vulnerable to disruption and attack, integrating next generation SatCom systems with the existing digital infrastructure can help make these networks more resilient and secure.

The Safety of Future Transport study will focus on how next generation SatCom solutions can increase safety and efficiency in the fast-evolving aviation, maritime and railway sectors, with potential applications relating to unmanned aircraft and ships, and automated traffic management systems. Safeguarding Essential Services will focus on how SatCom can help protect critical infrastructure such as energy utilities as well as public media. Satellite Applications for Public Safety will focus on how SatCom can supplement and support existing Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) networks used by first responders such as the police, fire brigade, health services and search and rescue.

The Port of the Future study will assess the technical feasibility and economic viability of new Earth observation and SatCom-based services for the port industry, focusing not only on operations of the port itself, but also on monitoring their environmental impact in terms of air and water quality.

“SatCom has an increasingly vital role to play in protecting our society and making its infrastructure more secure and resilient,” said Francesco Marsella, managing partner and global S&O practice leader at ADL. “As terrestrial networks become more prone to failure, whether due to natural disaster or cyberattack, SatComs can support and maintain European telecoms systems. These studies will be key to developing existing satellite systems and identifying the services of the future.”

Lars Thurmann-Moe, managing partner, ADL Norway, added: “It is not always appreciated quite how important the maritime sector remains, with the great majority of goods still transported by sea. SatCom is already central to modern maritime operations in terms of communication and navigation, but there is still so much more that can be done to improve these operations, and also reduce the industry’s environmental footprint – for instance, helping to quickly pinpoint oil spillages.”

Matteo Ainardi, head of the Aerospace & Defense Competence Center at ADL, comments: “The satellite industry is today being disrupted by the introduction of new technologies such as large scale low earth orbit (LEO) constellations, reusable launchers and phased-array antennas. It is the right time to assess the evolving demand for SatCom solutions, and develop a next generation SatCom capability that can leverage these major technological breakthroughs to the benefit of the European society and economy. ADL is highly involved in the commercial space sector – as such, we are very pleased to be working with ESA on these studies, and look forward to applying our industry expertise to help define the SatCom-based services and applications of the future.”

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