EMTECH SPACE, a Greek pioneering force in space technology since 2008, is proud to announce its latest achievement: a 4 million euro contract was signed last March with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Greek Ministry of Digital Governance. After an open call and selection process, EMTECH is leading today the design, development, launch and operations of two small size Greek satellites (HELIOS & SELENE CubeSats), a mission called Hellenic Space Dawn (HSD).
EMTECH has formed a visionary consortium comprised of five Greek space specialized SMEs, three academic institutes, and a number of Greek suppliers, all sharing a common vision: to lead Greece into a new era of space technology and exploration, by designing, developing, integrating and operating the first-ever satellites by Greek entities.
Principal Objective & Mission Concept
Principal objective of the project is to validate in-orbit several Greek space technologies regarding both space and ground segment intellectual property (IP), and apparently to enhance experience and capacities of the Greek space ecosystem, as well as to further cultivate international collaborations with ESA and the European space community.
The mission concept is twofold. On one hand, the two-satellite constellation, supported by the ground segment mission control center and the payload data ground segment, shall enable several Earth Observation applications, such as ship detection, coastal flood and landslides, agriculture, forestry, light pollution and urban land use monitoring (urban changes, emergency mapping) with the following key features: near real-time response (within minutes), high revisit rate (5 passes/day over Greece per satellite), high resolution of images (16m) and on-board/EDGE image processing capability. On the other hand, the constellation shall perform exhaustive experiments for laser optical communications, both regarding satellite to ground and optical intersatellite links, something that has not yet been achieved worldwide by using CubeSat technology.
EMTECH is honored to lead a strong partnership with the following Greek SME’s and research/academic entities:
- Integrated Systems Development (ISD S.A.) will handle the development of the payloads, supply micro-electronic integrated circuits and high-performance EDGE processing modules, and manage the crucial AIT/AIV activities.
- HERON Engineering will be responsible for all mechanical engineering aspects.
- LEO Photonics will be involved in the development of space optical communication systems.
- Geosystems Hellas will develop all Earth Observation applications and the Payload Data Ground Segment.
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will provide support in system simulations and expertise in CubeSat missions.
- National Kapodistrian University of Athens will support high-performance on-board processing for image compression algorithms.
- The Hellenic Naval Academy will contribute to the simulation of the optical communication experiments.
Apart from consortium’s management and quality assurance, EMTECH shall be responsible for Mission Analysis and thorough system simulations, including Operational Simulators, Software Validation Facility, End-to-End Simulations for the laser optical communications system, as well as the CubeSat’s Attitude Determination & Control System (ADCS) validation facility to test and validate the precise pointing mission requirements.
The consortium will collaborate within an environment of mutual respect, honesty, teamwork and knowledge exchange. The team looks forward to embarking on this remarkable journey, propelling Greece into a new era of space excellence and establishing the country as a substantial player in the new space era.
Space technology by EMTECH
However, the signing of a €4 million contract is beyond of just a great milestone achieved, that proves the constant corporate growth and development of the company. It establishes a symbol reflecting EMTECH’s fundamental way of working, driven by an ongoing commitment to excellence, and delivering the best possible results to clients, partners and stakeholders. Having space technology heritage since 2009, EMTECH has managed to participate and add value in several European space missions and projects by successfully delivering services for spacecraft simulators, ground segment software, Independent Software Verification and Validation (ISVV) and state-of-the-art facilities for magnetic fields measuring, and modelling of spacecraft electronic units.
Frédéric Rouesnel (ESA) Project Manager of the Greek Space Programme said:
“On 26 November 2021, the ministry of Digital Governance in Greece implemented an agile path to materialise the Greek National Satellite Project aiming to enhance the capabilities of Greek small & medium-sized enterprises in satellite technologies and applications, especially for secure communications and Earth observation, and to empower the country to build the necessary expertise for satellite systems design and implementation locally.
The Hellenic Space Dawn mission lead by EMTECH SPACE is a true representation of an experimented consortium working on an innovative project. Being one of the major players in the Greek space ecosystem, this initiative will contribute to the establishment of secure communications, telecommunication and Earth observation applications responding to Greek user needs.”
Nikolaos-Antonios Livanos, Founder and Managing Director of EMTECH quoted that,
“After long time efforts from the ministry of digital governance and a large number of local stakeholders, the Greek Space Program is today launched. The Greek CubeSats in-orbit validation program, which is part of the overall Greek Space Program funded by the European Commission as part of the recovery and resilience plan, is a great opportunity for Greece to demonstrate the high level of professionalism, know-how and capabilities existing in the country. It is a privilege for us to be trusted by the ministry and ESA and be the prime contractor to lead the Hellenic Space Dawn mission. We, and all our project partners, are fully committed to undertake the responsibility to realize this very challenging mission. The Hellenic Space Dawn mission is priceless for EMTECH, as we anticipate improving our technology readiness in several disciplines, being fully prepared to participate in the forthcoming Greek Space Program and, of course, further contributing to the European space future. This project will help the nascent space industry in Greece and the digital transformation of society to be expanded, and for sure it will provide added value to the capacity of the Greek ecosystem.
About EMTECH SPACE S.A.
EMTECH SPACE S.A. is a company established in Athens/ Greece and focused on two markets: space applications and energy smart-grids. Since 2009, EMTECH has been involved in the following space technology domains (TRL9): spacecraft simulators’ modelling and infrastructure, Independent Software Verification and Validation (ISVV), and magnetic measurement and modelling facilities for spacecraft magnetic cleanliness applications. Major customers and partners in European space missions and projects are: European Space Agency (ESA), AIRBUS, Telespazio, Leonardo, Altec, THALES Alenia Space, etc. EMTECH is a founding member of the Hellenic Space Technologies & Applications Cluster (si-cluster) and active member in the Hellenic Association of Space Industry (HASI), as well as the Institute of Energy for South-East Europe (IENE), and the Hellenic Manufacturers of Defense Material Association (SEKPY).
Greek Ministry of Digital Governance and ESA to help Greece to boost its space investments.
On 26 November 2021, the Ministry of Digital Governance in Greece announced the implementation path to materialize the Greek National Satellite Space Project with the technical support of ESA. The project is part of the nation’s Recovery and Resilience Facility plan, which aim to enhance Greece’s capabilities in satellite technologies and applications, and to empower the country for exchanging satellite data.
This program is funded by the European Union – NextGenerationEU, and the Greek Government as part of Greece’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, Greece 2.0. https://greece20.gov.gr/Views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion the European Union/European Commission/ESA/ Greek Ministry of Digital Governance. Views and opinion expressed are those of the author(s) only and the European Union/European Commission/ESA/ Greek Ministry of Digital Governance cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.