October 9th, Rome, Italy– With the endorsement of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and in the frame of ESA’s ARTES Pioneer Initiative, SITAEL signed today a PPP contract to provide a new integrated service for the In Orbit Demonstration (IOD) and In Orbit Validation (IOV) of new technologies.
This new service, STRIVING, will be on the market within 18 months and SITAEL, the Space Mission Provider (SMP), will build an integrated environment to provide a one-stop-shop access-to-space solution for telecom IOD/IOV missions. Strengths of STRIVING will be a high level of responsiveness, the increased standardization and the reduction of the overall service costs.
For this new paradigm of in-orbit demonstration, SITAEL has built up an all Italian industrial team with three SMEs (Tyvak Intl., IMT and Planetek) with high-level key competences and proven heritage.
ASI President Roberto Battiston said, “ASI support to the STRIVING project, together with other initiatives in the field of satellite telecommunications, demonstrates ASI’s intent to fully follow and fully exploit the rapid evolution of the industry. Evolution in technology that in turn leads to the evolution of the satellite offer of small missions based on small platforms and tailored on the needs of the end user, with fast and costly implementation times. We expect that on this basis, the space sector can offer important opportunities for development and innovating services for citizens”.
The main purpose of this activity is the implementation of the service and a first demo mission based on the SITAEL S-75 small satellite platform, targeting the first SSMS VEGA launch.
A dedicated Call for Ideas will be issued for free rides on board the demo mission together with a first payload to be validated, which is an innovative C-band transceiver for small satellites coming from an ESA ARTES Advanced Technology project.
Carlo Elia, Head of ESA’s Telecommunication Technologies, Products and System Department, said, “The Italian industrial consortium undertaking the STRIVING development, led by SITAEL and supported by the Italian Space Agency, will enable the demonstration of new and advanced technologies, systems and services in space. This is fully in line with the objectives of the overall Pioneer programme, of which STRIVING is a cornerstone”.
Once fully operational, the STRIVING service will rely on a large portfolio of nano, micro and mini satellite platforms and a network of distributed ground stations (UHF/C/S/X Bands) to cover a wide range of needs, making the service available on the market for Telecom, Earth Observation, Navigation and Science domains.
SITAEL Chief Executive Officer Nicola Zaccheo said: “STRIVING is a very innovative In Orbit Demonstration platform increasing the new space technologies availability in a very quick and effective way. The small satellites utilization will offer to the space market a timely and cost effective service in order to answer the fast-running market needs arising from the Space Economy. ”
Cristoforo Abbattista, Head of SpaceStream SBU, Planetek Italia, said: "Planetek Italia is very proud to collaborate with SITAEL in the STRIVING project. Planetek will develop and deploy the Payload Control Center, by which the Validation team will define all the procedures for the tasking of the payload under test and for the validation of the results received from the satellite. It is a very demanding activity in terms of the foreseen variety of payloads that could ask for an IOD/IOV activity. In fact, the PCC must be quite general to be able to command different kinds of payload and really custom to satisfy all the different expectations of the customers in terms of activities to be conducted.