Odense, Denmark, 16th June 2022 – QuadSAT, a Danish company specialising in test and verification of radio frequency equipment, has announced it has been awarded additional funding (€500,000) by ESA under ARTES Core Competitiveness programme to enter into the product phase development project, thus continuing the successfully concluded technology phase. Within the contracted activity QuadSAT will further develop, validate and certify its UAV testing system, providing the industry with a solution that enables flexible and accurate satellite antenna testing and calibration.
QuadSAT’s system is fully automated, flexible, and location independent, making it capable of scaling and transforming how antennas are tested. The systems consist of state-of-the-art drone technology, integrated with a custom RF payload as well as automation and measurement software. With QuadSAT’s drone-based system, a broad range of testing missions can be undertaken, depending on user requirements. This has already been extensively tested, with missions ranging from performing verification of OneWeb’s ground segment antennas ahead of the global rollout of its LEO constellation, to working alongside teams from the European Space Agency’s ESOC mission control centre to complete a measurement campaign of large antennas at Kiruna Earth Station.
ESA’s ARTES Core Competitiveness programme helps European and Canadian industry to develop innovative satcom products, service and systems. It provides support at any point of the technology development process, from initial idea to a fully-fledged product, system or service. The programme provides the funding, multi-disciplinary expertise, business knowledge, opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), international consortia and contacts needed to turn the concept into reality. ESA has provided technical assessments and guidance and supported QuadSAT to further develop their concept to a full product.
Joakim Espeland, CEO of QuadSAT, commented: “Collaborating with ESA provides us with a platform to further develop and demonstrate our product’s capabilities and validate its efficacy within the satcom ecosystem. It is instrumental in gaining industry recognition for our product. The ARTES programme is an excellent opportunity as it provides organisations with access to ESA resources to accelerate the development of productization. The support we have received from ESA has been exceptional.”
Domenico Mignolo, Head of Ground Segment section of ESA, added: “ARTES Core Competitiveness programme was established to support the transformation of innovative ideas into new products within satcom enabling the competitiveness of ESA Member States Industry. Our collaboration with QuadSAT has accelerated its research and product development process and enabled it to validate its accuracy and efficiency to pursue business opportunities. We are glad to support QuadSAT in its product development.”
Throughout its work with the ARTES programme, QuadSAT has received ongoing technical support from GVF. David Meltzer, Secretary General at GVF, added, “Product maintenance and quality assurance is crucial in managing satellite communications. QuadSAT’s can provide the industry with an accessible, low-cost tool which can ensure accuracy at the ground segment. The technology not only supports product development and qualification during the design phase, but more importantly, provides the satellite operator with an accurate measure of the equipment performance after its installation in the field. This capability is unique. We’re happy to be providing QuadSAT with technical support. Its partnership with the ARTES Core Competitiveness programme will benefit the industry as a whole.”
QuadSAT’s system is a key disruptor within RFI mitigation; its low-cost and flexible solution transforms accessibility to high-quality testing within satcom. The system provides pre- and post-flight software to ensure repeatability, control over the drone during measurements, ease of operation and data delivery in a uniform format. This in-depth testing will provide quality assurance and improve reliability throughout the satcom industry, allowing the industry to deliver the networks required for the connectivity of the future.
Thanks to the ARTES Core Competitiveness programme, QuadSAT will work on a productised version of its solution that can be operated directly by users. This will help significantly scale the technology and make test and measurements of satellite antennas much more accessible, anywhere in the world.