Impact on Space Technology Industry


Applications of space technologies dedicated to providing civil systems and services has a  turnover of around €5Bn and counts more than 15,000 employees in Europe. Main areas of activity are satellites for spacecraft and ground segments, solutions covering secure and commercial satellite communications (SatCom) and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, bespoke geo-information and navigation services worldwide. The European Space Agency identifies SatCom as the mainstay of space industry, with market value estimated as €100Bn, including launchers, user terminals and derived services. Simultaneously, the market of micro-, nano- and pico-satellites, with emphasis on cube-sat,is drastically increasing with mainstream in science mission and earth observation. Thousands of vectors will be launched before 2020, and multibillionaire investments have been carried out especially in USA (http://www.spaceworksforecast.com).  Through this value-chain, NTX could represent a key future technology in ultra-broadband chip-sets, highly-integrated packaging for flexible, high performance and low-cost SatCom transceivers. However, paradigm-shift introduced by NTX consists in changing the technology of antennas for space, almost not evolving since many year, into SFX “skin” that use the entire satellite surface as an antenna. This can be done not only in the perspective to reduce weight and volumes in SatCom on board applications, but also for enabling communications in a swarm of pico/nano satellites. NTX, at optical frequencies, can be also an enabling breakthrough technology for innovative space scientific instruments. MTX and STX, for example, can provide new ways to build optical components simpler and easier to be manufactured and integrated and/or with improved performances compared to conventional optics. Examples are polarizers, polarization scramblers, ultra-selective filters, zero-reflection coatings.