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Aerospacelab Announces ESA Contract for Multispectral Companion Mission

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
February 16, 2021
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BRUSSELS, February 16, 2021 (Aerospacelab PR) — Aerospacelab signed a co-funding contract with the European Space Agency’s Investing in Industrial Innovation (InCubed) programme for its MultiSpectral Companion Mission prototype.

The contract was signed February the 12th, during a virtual event, by Josef Aschbacher (ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes, taking function as ESA Director General in March) and Benoît Deper (Aerospacelab’s CEO). This signature was attended by Thomas Dermine, State Secretary for Scientific Policy, Recovery Program and Strategic Investments, by members of the Belgium Delegation  and different ESA representatives.

The MultiSpectral Companion Mission (MSCM) will aim at generating data products combining Sentinel-2 type image quality with daily global coverage.

MSCM is one of the two main constellations developed by Aerospacelab with the objective of making geospatial intelligence actionable and affordable. Under the InCubed contract, Aerospacelab will develop an In-Orbit prototype based on its ESPA-class satellite platform under development.

A key concept is to seek seamless interoperability between MSCM and existing/future Sentinel-2 data products by matching data quality requirements, while maintaining a cost effective approach. A wide range of companies and institutions currently use Copernicus’ Sentinel-2 data products to generate valuable insights, specifically for Natural Resources monitoring, Environmental protection and Food Security applications. MSCM aims at supporting this pool of users by providing them with comparable multispectral high quality data, with a much increased revisit frequency.

‘’ESA is excited to support the European Earth Observation commercial sector and we are looking forward to working with Aerospacelab to develop the first Multispectral Companion Prototype Satellite. The development is commercially focused and is co-funded by the Belgium contribution to InCubed and Aerospacelab. This is one of the biggest InCubed contracts so far, providing an important contribution to the development of the European commercial EO landscape.’’

— Josef Aschbacher
ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes

“Aerospacelab is a very young and promising Belgian company and we are very glad that it makes it to this stage and it can go to the next level in its development.”

— Thomas Dermine
State Secretary for Scientific Policy, Recovery Program and Strategic Investments

“Aerospacelab is a young and very promising Belgian company with many brilliant and innovative ideas. With its support to the MultiSpectral Companion Mission (MSCM) the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) wants also to help Aerospacelab in reaching their ground-breaking goals.’’

— Steven Bogaerts
Programme Manager at BELSPO (Belgian Science Policy Office)

About Aerospacelab

Aerospacelab is a Belgian company founded in 2018 by Benoit Deper, currently employing more than 70 people. Aerospacelab has expertise both in  hardware (satellites, subsystems, and components) and in data processing (extraction of actionable insights from satellite data). With two main constellations in the works, Aerospacelab ambitions to enhance efficiency across various markets, by making geospatial intelligence affordable and actionable.

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