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ST Engineering iDirect, SatADSL to Build Satcom Pooling & Sharing System for ESA

By | June 1, 2021

      ESA Headquarters (Photo by ESA)

      The European Space Agency (ESA) awarded a contract to a consortium of Belgian companies led by RHEA Group and including SatADSL and ST Engineering iDirect to build and operate a satellite communications Pooling and Sharing System (PSS) platform called Secure PSS Hub.

      ESA’s contract is part of the agency’s effort to develop agnostic interfaces for pooling and sharing systems, targeting close-to-market implementations for commercial satellite operators, service providers, and commercial PSS providers.

      “Pooling and sharing satellite communication capacity from multiple satcom satellite operators in a secure manner provides an innovative alternative, cost-effective way for users to gain access to secure communications services and can be particularly beneficial if they are required at short notice or if they are used for communications between governmental agencies or between governments,” the partners said in a statement accompanying the contract announcement.

      Secure PSS Hub will feature a mission configurator and built-in security, with services based on ST Engineering iDirect’s Newtec Dialog platform.

      “Besides its unsurpassed return rates in shared bandwidth networks, the Dialog platform is a versatile communications system that supports functionality upgrades to maximize capital investment,” said ST Engineering iDirect’s Head of International Government Strategy Koen Willems.

      Once operational, RHEA’s security team will work with Brussels-based SatADSL to operate the platform and distribute services. The partners said they would integrate offers from different commercial satcom resource providers into the platform.

      RHEA Group Chief Solutions and Innovation Officer Arne Matthyssen called PSS, “the new disruptive digital platform.”

      “[PSS] represents new solutions for more reliable, available and secure satcom services for institutional, governmental and commercial users,” said Matthyssen. “Working with our partners, we will define detailed user requirements, develop the systems architecture, evaluate performances of early prototypes and identify the technological challenges over the long-term evolution of the system.”

      Financial details of the contract were not disclosed.