Portuguese industry steps up in Space

Tekever and European Space Agency signed an agreement for the intersatellite communications link on ESA’s Proba-3 formation-flying mission.

The two satellites will accurately hold position at a distance of 150 m or more.

"This contract highlights a key technology contributionby Portuguese companies in a very advanced mission", said ESA.

PROBA-3 is the third small satellite technology development and demonstration precursor mission within ESA's GSTP (General Support Technology Program) series. The primary mission objective is to demonstrate the technologies required for formation flying of multiple spacecraft in the fields of space science, Earth Observation and surveillance. This involves the in-orbit validation of these new Formation Flying (FF) techniques and technologies through a series of precision FF maneuvers, including formation acquisition, high precision pointing, reorientation, maintenance, resizing, rotation and slew.

The PROBA-3 mission concept comprises two independent minisatellites in HEO (Highly-elliptical Earth Orbit) in PFF (Precise Formation Flying) formation, close to one another with the ability to accurately control the attitude and separation of the two satellites.