Athens, June 2, 2023
Planetek Hellas, a Greek SME, has signed a €1 million contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for the design, assembly, integration, testing, launch, and operation of a CubeSat.
The CubeSat's primary mission objective is to provide secure connectivity using a state-of-the-art in-orbit laser terminal, which will be augmented by the patented Earth Observation (EO) on-board data compression and clouds classification solution of Planetek Hellas (EP3347852). The latter will provide on-board clouds classification, enabling Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning (AI/ML) based, autonomous decisions of the CubeSat to choose the proper cloud-free Ground Station and make the secure connectivity link, when passing over the Greek territory.
The CubeSat mission is complemented by an EO related secondary objective, which is to exploit the SpacEdge, a smart in-orbit data processing board, provided as COTS and being the proprietary cognitive cloud computing in space solution of the affiliated company Planetek Italia. SpacEdge is expected to unleash the super powers of on-board AI/ML-based EO data processing in miniaturized environments such as this CubeSat mission.
For this CubeSat mission, Planetek Hellas is partnering with three other Greek entities: the Digital Systems Lab of the Informatics Department of the University of Piraeus, the SME JNP Consultancy Services, and BitRezus, a startup specializing in blockchain technology, which is also supported by the ESA BIC in Greece. The latter will test, as part of the CubeSat mission, its Astropledge cybersecurity solution for Low Earth Orbit constellations.
Among other, the CubeSat mission provides to Planetek Hellas a unique opportunity to showcase the space system products of the company, such as the ERMES Mission Operations, Testing and Simulation platform, the KADMOS innovative PDGS platform, and the patented OP3C On-board compression and clouds classification for EO data solution paving the way for the company’s participation in future EO, Connectivity and Secure Communication missions.
Frederic Rouesnel, ESA Greek national Telecom Satellites Project, stated: "On 26 November 2021, the ministry of Digital Governance in Greece announced the implementation path to materialize the Greek National Satellite Project aiming to enhance Greece’s capabilities in satellite technologies and applications, and to empower the country to exchange satellite data with the technical support of ESA. The Planetek Hellas’s CubeSat commercial mission is clearly in line with this vision, ambition, challenge and in a nutshell: aligned with the moto ‘Space for Digital Transformation’"
Stelios Bollanos, Co-founder and Director of Planetek Hellas, added, "We are grateful to ESA for trusting us with this CubeSat mission which, when successfully completed, will confirm our ability to provide end-to-end “New Space” solutions. At the same time, we recognize that this opportunity would not have been possible without the decision of the Ministry of Digital Governance to design and strongly support this program for Greek space SMEs."
In a few words:
ESA is an international organization with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programs and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. ESA is also responsible for implementing European Union's space policy. The activity of ESA concerns the further exploration of the planet Earth, the Atmosphere, our solar system, but also the universe in general. ESA is also responsible for the development of satellite technology and applications as well as for the promotion of European industry. The view expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency. www.esa.int
The General Secretariat of Telecommunications and Posts is an agency under the Hellenic Ministry of Digital Governance responsible for the development and implementation of policies related to telecommunications and postal services in Greece.
The General Secretariat of Telecommunications and Posts plays a crucial role in shaping the digital future of Greece by promoting the adoption of advanced technologies, promoting fair competition and protecting consumers in the telecommunications and postal sectors and is the public entity appointed as the Greek Delegation in ESA. https://mindigital.gr/
Planetek Hellas is a Greek company, active in the field of Satellite Earth Observation, Space Data Infrastructure, and Space & Ground Segment Software Development, since its establishment 17 years ago. Company customers currently include some of the most important bodies at the European level, such as the European Space Agency, the European Commission, the European Union Satellite Center, the European Environment Agency, and some of the biggest Industries in the domain such as Airbus, Indra, E-geos, GMV and other. The company is a founding member of the Hellenic Space Industries Cluster and a full member of the "Hellenic Space Technology and Applications Industry" Association. www.planetek.gr
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.