SpaceDataHighway: delivering quality services during the COVID-19 pandemic

Featured stories - Publication date : 11 May 2020
SpaceDataHighway: delivering quality services during the COVID-19 pandemic

The SpaceDataHighway service utilizes the Airbus owned and operated European Data Relay System (EDRS) laser communication infrastructure to enable the transfer of data from LEO satellites , via the EDRS-A and EDRS-C geostationary satellites, to receiving ground stations in Europe. Leveraging on the Laser Terminal technology developed in collaboration with DLR and Tesat, SpaceDataHighway data relay services enhance capabilities of LEO satellites through increased data acquisition, agile tasking, and real time delivery.

Located at Airbus premises near Munich, Germany, the management of the laser communications data relay service is controlled 24/7 by SpaceDataHighway’s Mission Operations Centre (MOC). The Airbus colleagues control the space and ground segment and monitor the performance of data link sessions as requested by customers.

Gian Filippo Brunelleschi, Head of EDRS Operations, said “To continue providing essential support for critical and urgent operational tasks during the current pandemic crisis, the team of Operators adopted very early strict isolation and disinfection procedures enabling the continuation of the  business – this quick definition, co-ordination and implementation of on-site mitigation measures was key as our on-shift Operators can’t do their job from home!”

“Moreover, in order to mitigate the risk for the whole MOC team of Operators to be forced to home quarantine at the same time, we established a second physically separate team composed of EDRS Service Engineers able to take over the 24/7 MOC Operator duties from the Primary Mission Operations Centre in case of need”.

 This has enabled Airbus to continue delivering services as usual to our customers including our unique Lasercom relay service of Copernicus images to the European Commission.

“The rest of our service engineering team is efficiently working remotely and in accordance with the corporate policy of alternating teams and distancing when on site. We therefore remain well on track also on other ongoing activities such as the support to the EDRS-C commissioning which will soon lead to the start of SDH Lasercom services also via our second GEO node which was launched last summer” concludes Gian Filippo.

EDRS-C will soon enter full operational, doubling SpaceDataHighway capacity and extending avaliability to accommodate additional customer requirements for high bandwidth data connectivity.

Do you want to know more ? Contact us !