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Eurialo credits ESA
July 25, 2023

ESSP will prepare operation and service provision of the Eurialo demonstrator

Image credits: ESA

This ESA project targets to support and facilitate the provision of satellite-based solutions for ATM. This novel European satellite-based surveillance system named Eurialo will have the mission to provide complementary ATM surveillance services on a global basis, and independently from other systems (EG: GNSS; ADS-B).

ESA has awarded this project to the European consortium led by Spire Global, a global provider of space-based data, analytics, and space services. This project brings together stakeholders across the ATM value chain such as satellite and payload manufacturer ATM data integrator to test the integration of this service and satellite-based services provider for aviation. Spire will lead a consortium of major industry players for the contract. ESSP (European Satellite Services Provider), a leading space-based Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) services provider will support Spire as a partner.

The EURIALO programme is funded mainly through the German Space Agency at DLR, CNES (French Space Agency), and ASI (Italian Space Agency).

The EURIALO project intends to design and demonstrate the viability of a novel system that uses a satellite constellation to track aircraft by determining their exact position based on different times of arrivals of radio frequency (RF) signals, a technology known in the aviation industry as multilateration (MLAT). The project covers the validation of critical satellite-based technologies relevant to ATM surveillance with an in-orbit demonstrator covering target service areas and a preliminary assessment of key performances for the end-to-end system including ground ATM elements.

Spire will provide a mission and system design and in-orbit technology demonstrator for a satellite constellation to monitor flights globally in real time, developing the most advanced civilian aviation surveillance system. Within this project, ESSP’s role and contribution pivots around a series of actions that will initiate the definition and preparation of the future operations and service definition. ESSP will contribute to the validation of end-to-end space-based surveillance system from both functional and performance perspective. Moreover, ESSP will contribute by providing its capabilities for guiding the definition of relevant features of future full system (e.g., CONOPS, certification requirements, mission, and system requirements specifications), and contribute on the aspect of the Service requirements, while supporting the definition of the supervision architecture and requirements.

Today, tracking systems rely on self-reported positions of aircraft, which are derived from GNSS satellites. The need for an additional complementary space solution will provide a fully reliable and resilient surveillance solution completing the European CNS infrastructure. By independently verifying the location of a plane through geolocation MLAT technology, the EURIALO project will provide the most advanced and reliable system for aircraft surveillance, with the ability to track a plane in real time from takeoff to landing anywhere in the world. The project aligns with the forward-look strategy of the European Air Traffic Management (ATM) Master Plan, which outlines the need for resilient, space-based infrastructure to support safe, sustainable, and efficient air travel. 

The project will kick-off in September 2023 for a duration of 3 years.