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  • Satellite Evolution

Tekever signs contract to provide inter-satellite links for world-first planetary defence mission

TEKEVER, the market leader in advanced unmanned aerial technology systems, today announces that it has signed a contract with OHB, the European developer of low-orbit and geostationary satellites, to provide its Inter-Satellite Link (ISL) technology for the ESA Hera mission.

The ESA’s Hera spacecraft will fly to Didymos, a 780-metre-diameter asteroid, in November 2024 to assess the aftermath of the collision between NASA’s DART spacecraft and Dimorphos, a moonlet that orbits Didymos, due to take place on 26 September 2022. Hera is expected to reach the two asteroids in late 2026 and will gather information such as the size of DART’s crater, and the mass and structure of Dimorphos.

TEKEVER’s ISL technology deploys a communications and relative positioning infrastructure, enabling the three satellites involved in the mission to communicate among themselves and take more precise measurements. This combined capability of communications and position determination in one single piece of equipment is unique in the market and will prove an essential component of the Hera mission.

The data collected during this mission will be critical in advancing our understanding of kinetic impact so that it can one day be deployed as a repeatable and well-understood planetary defence technique that can protect the Earth from inbound asteroids in the future.

Ricardo Mendes, CEO of TEKEVER, commented: “We are proud that TEKEVER’s cutting-edge ISL technology has been selected by OHB for use in the Hera spacecraft. With the ISL’s combined communications and position determination capabilities, TEKEVER is uniquely positioned to provide this level of complex technical and operational support. This historic mission will be critical for future planetary defence, and we are honoured to be playing our part.”

Pedro Rodrigues, Space Business Development Director at TEKEVER, added: “TEKEVER continues to push boundaries in space with our advanced ISL technology set to play a central role in the ESA’s upcoming Hera mission. Our unique technology will enable the collection of important data that will inform the development of future planetary defence techniques.”

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