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From Blu-Ray players to Earth orbit

This wafer of Gallium Nitride – a material more typically found at the heart of Blu-Ray players – has been etched with hundreds of space-quality microwave integrated circuits.

Many of ESA’s most ambitious future missions for telecommunications and Earth observation have only become possible because of a switch to this high-power and high-temperature capable semiconductor – regarded as the most promising material since silicon.

This image is one of the 99 Objects of ESA ESTEC website, a set of intriguing, often surprising artefacts helping tell the story of more than half a century of activity at ESA’s technical heart. 


Discs for Fault Detection

Embedded within these resin discs are vital clues to determine whether future space missions will fail or thrive.

GSTP Industry Working Days in Vienna a Success

Over the past three days GSTP has co-hosted with FFG, the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, the first in-person GSTP Industry Working Days in nearly 3 years.

The Industry Days were intended to highlight potential technology developments needed in three areas: artificial intelligence, digitalization and quantum. Across all three days this saw bilaterals taking place between industry and ESA as well as intense but informative panels and workshops focusing on each topic individually. 

Day one saw a rebranded version of the Space Engineering and Technology Final Presentation Days, normally held at ESTEC. Now known as the Space R&D Showcase, almost 40 presentations were delivered about recently closed GSTP and TDE activities with important technology developments to share. Grouped into 6 catagories, from digital twins to AI on the edge, the presentations were given by a huge range of industry and universities.  

Feedback during all three days was gathered using an interactive tool, which meant questions were readily available and the audience could leave their feedback about the compendium throughout the event. In an example of true conversation with industry, over 80 replies were received to the interactive compendia quiz online. This will now allow the TEC-T team to see which activities need more focus, if there are any skill areas missing and if there may be a better way to structure the document to avoid gaps in the future, before it is finalised. Making sure that future GSTP activities in these areas are tailored to industry’s requests and concerns.  


GSTP Annual Report 2021 Published


The latest GSTP Annual Report is available here. 


Latest TDE Highlights Brochure Now Published!


The latest TDE Highlights Brochure, covering 2021, is now available to read online here. 


Hera plus one: enter the CubeSat


One step closer to a CubeSat swarm mission


Where space weather starts


Young Professionals’ YPSat headed to Ariane 6