When the majority of new ESA missions are envisioned, the technology that will make them possible does not even exist – yet. It is the job of ESA’s Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality (TEC) to identify the required enabling innovations, make them real and bring them up to the needed level of performance and reliability so that the right technology is ready at just the right time.
TEC develops processes, methods and technologies to allow Europe to fully benefit from the early introduction of new technologies. Technology developments from all competence domains are critical to achieving this goal. Success will largely depend on the introduction of digital engineering and advanced analytics based on big sensory data and automation, and on artificial intelligence – especially in those processes driving schedule and cost.
The 'Design-to-Produce' and Advanced Manufacturing initiatives will be essential to developing relevant technology and processes. In the application domains, the development of technological building blocks will be essential to provide the flexibility and modularity that will reduce development times.
TEC develops technologies that will leave the space environment safer than what we inherited. Together with all of ESA, TEC supports the competitiveness of European industry, helping to transfer technology from space to non-space applications (‘spin-off’) and bring innovation from outside the space sector into use in the design of new space systems (‘spin-in’). TEC develops key technologies that allow Europe to achieve cost-efficiency improvements with each new generation of a given space system.
Contributing to the success of ESA, Member State and commercial space missions and products
The TEC Strategic Pillars guide and orient the process of translating strategic requirements into executable objectives by categorising objectives according to the following: People; Technology, Engineering & Quality and Infrastructure.
Engineering & Quality
Delivers timely outputs consistent withESA’s strategic and programmatic context
Continuously improves its competence and infrastructure in support of the European space sector
Provides high-quality work and a stimulating environment for our teams
Because TEC has a transversal function within the matrix organisation of ESA, the Directorate’s own strategy is primarily to support the programmes, missions and strategies of ESA and the competitiveness of the European space sector, and to lead the implementation of the ESA Technology Strategy .
ESA Technology strategy