- Laurence Russell
SES to enable European Maritime Safety Agency RPAS operations via satellite
The latest contract awarded by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) will see the agency continue to use SES’s high-performance satellite connectivity services for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems’ (RPAS) operations, SES and EMSA announced today. Under the new agreement, SES’s managed connectivity service will allow end-users to receive and exchange RPAS data in near real-time and support the operational needs of missions at sea.
SES has been a longstanding partner of EMSA in delivering integrated maritime services that support the EU’s objectives of creating a safe, secure, green and competitive maritime sector. The new multi-year contract follows a previously-awarded agreement that enabled multiple EMSA missions with the guaranteed high-performance connectivity service for pollution monitoring, maritime safety and general maritime surveillance.
Under the new framework agreement, SES will leverage its extensive government SATCOM Ku-, Ka- and military-Ka band capacity and ground segment to continue delivering connectivity services for EMSA’s RPAS missions across multiple coastal regions of the European Union. The service will be enabling Long Endurance Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems for medium and long-range operations. In addition, the GovSatCom-grade service will bring connectivity to the ships, enabling data-intensive applications such as distribution of audiovisual RPAS mission data, secure access to the network and connection to the headquarters on land to ensure timely decision-making.
The connectivity solution provided to EMSA is based on the REACH platform, a new capability developed by SES specifically for European governmental and institutional users requiring fast, flexible, reliable and secure connectivity. The platform allows for GovSatCom-level service for safety, security and emergency response applications.
“With the rise in number of sensors used in the RPAS missions and the subsequent additional data information flow, we require GovSatCom-level capabilities that can quickly and flexibly respond to our growing performance, security and coverage needs to support our users. We are very pleased to continue working with SES to ensure maritime safety of the European Union,” said Maja Markovčić Kostelac, Executive Director of EMSA.
“As the European Union is increasingly adopting RPAS for the maritime missions, it is our priority to deliver the fully-managed high-performance GovSatCom-grade service leveraging SES’s space and ground infrastructure, and global multi-band, multi-frequency coverage. This enables the end user with the information and tools they need to carry out safe and successful missions, including remote monitoring and real-time situational awareness,” said Philippe Glaesener, Senior Vice President for Defence, Security and Institutions at SES. “And we do not stop here. SES continues putting in place innovative multi-orbit solutions, further expanding government services to meet the growing demand.”
The new agreement with EMSA will allow the European Union member states to access SES’s extensive Ku- and Ka- bands on seven SES satellites, as well as the GovSat-1 satellite’s government military-Ka band and GovSat’s secure missions operations centre in Europe. SES is the only company that operates a total of 70 satellites including over 50 geostationary as well as 20 non-geostationary Medium Earth Orbit satellites providing carrier-grade SATCOM connectivity globally.