European space manufacturers, operators, service providers and policy and legal research centres to study Space Traffic Management

25 January 2021

Telespazio and Telespazio France are part of the consortium selected by the European Commission to study a Space Traffic Management system, one of the biggest challenges for the space sector.

STM is becoming a major concern for space activities. The number of satellites and space debris is growing rapidly, inducing risks for long-term space sustainability. The rules governing space traffic are no longer sufficient to protect this environment and the vital network of satellites which support everyday life activities.

In a context of renewed efforts, the European Commission has selected a consortium of major European launcher and satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers, as well as policy and legal research centres and institutes to study and provide guidelines and recommendations on Space Traffic Management (STM).

This project, called SPACEWAYS*, will characterize and analyse the current changing context of STM, especially its international and domestic dimensions. SPACEWAYS will assess the European capabilities as well as technology gaps and it will provide a legal, policy and economic assessment leading to final recommendations for implementation.

SPACEWAYS is part of the Horizon 2020 European research programme. It includes 15 partners and is coordinated by the Foundation for Strategic Research (Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique - FRS) in Paris. The eighteen-month-project is valued at EUR 1.5 million.

Space Traffic Management is one of the biggest challenges for the space sector of the future. In addition to the Spaceways project, Telespazio already offers Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services, one of the key components of STM, for commercial and institutional customers. Telespazio, together with Thales Alenia Space, is also a partner of NorthStar, a Canadian company that is developing Skylark, one of the most advanced satellite systems in the world in the field of SSA and STM.

The Consortium members are: Airbus Defence and Space GMBH, Airbus Defence and Space SAS, Arianegroup SAS, Deimos Engineering and Systems SLU, European Space Policy Institute, Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, Indra Systems SA, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, OHB System AG, European Union Satellite Centre, Thales Alenia Space France SAS, Telespazio SPA and Telespazio France SAS. Arianespace S.A.S. and Deimos Space Sociedad Limitada Unipersonal are also involved as third parties to this project.