SESAR Deployment Manager and European Space Agency Sign Memorandum of Cooperation

July 19, 2018
A special focus of the cooperation will be on the use of satellite and Iris as a complementary datalink air-ground communication technology.

Brussels, Belgium, Thursday, 19th July 2018 - SESAR Deployment Manager and the European Space Agency (ESA) have today signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) marking the start of the collaboration between both organisations.

The MoC will see both organisations coordinate over the deployment of the satellite-based communication system (Iris) and SESAR Deployment in Europe.

A special focus of the cooperation will be on the use of satellite and Iris as a complementary datalink air-ground communication technology.

Iris is currently undergoing flight trials which are meeting their technical objectives. This demonstrates that ESA is on track for Iris to deliver an initial service in 2020 as a result of the current contract in place.

Signing the Memorandum of Cooperation sets out the basis for efficient cooperation between SESAR Deployment Manager and ESA as both organisations address their respective responsibilities on the deployment of SESAR and the satellite-based communication system that helps to enable it.

This is an important cooperation, addressing key parts of the short, medium, and long-term development of the Single European Sky. As such it will bring profound benefits for European citizens, industry and Member States for decades to come.

Both directors concluded to be looking forward to a long and fruitful cooperation.

Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications at ESA said: “It is hard to overstate the impact this new application of satellite technology will have on modern air travel.

“We have been working on the Iris programme with our industrial partners for several years, and are happy to now be moving forward into the next project stages, enlarging our cooperation to include, SESAR Deployment Manager, with the shared aim of improving both the European economy and the lives of European citizens in a very tangible way.”

Nicolas Warinsko, General Manager, SESAR Deployment Manager said: “This is another important MoC SESAR Deployment Manager is concluding as part of an ongoing strategy to involve all key stakeholders in the deployment of SESAR, making sure we can timely deliver air traffic management modernisation in Europe.

“I am very proud that ESA is joining today, giving a strong signal of their commitment in delivering the Single European Sky together and supporting SESAR Deployment Manager in its role as Data Link Service implementation project manager.”

Iris will provide a safe and secure text-based data link between pilots and air traffic control (ATC) networks using satellite technology. The programme is developed under a public-private partnership between ESA and Inmarsat, and will help relieve pressure on the aviation sector's congested radio frequency communication channels. It will so as part of the European Commission’s Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) masterplan to modernise Europe's air traffic management. (credit: European Space Agency)