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Artist's view of EDRS-C

Credits: ESA - P. Carril

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Artist's view of EDRS-C. The European Data Relay System (EDRS) is designed to relay data between satellites in low orbit and Earth via satellites in geostationary orbit. It allows transmission of large quantities of data with reduced delay, using innovative laser communication technology. It is a new, independent European satellite system, and is a public–private partnership between ESA and Airbus (DE) as part of ESA’s efforts to federate industry around large- scale programmes, stimulating technology developments and achieving economic benefits. OHB System AG is the prime contractor building EDRS-C. EDRS-C will have two main payloads, the Data Relay Paylod (DRPL) providing relay and inter-satellite link capabilities and the commercial Hylas-3 payload by Avanti Communications for Ka-band satellite communication services. EDRS will form the ‘SpaceDataHighway’ for Europe, made up of one hosted data-relay payload (EDRS-A), one data-relay payload on a dedicated satellite (EDRS-C) and a dedicated ground segment. EDRS dramatically increases the speed with which low-orbiting satellites can deliver their information to users, by relaying their data via the EDRS payloads in geostationary orbit to European ground stations. With EDRS ground stations in Redu (BE), Harwell (UK) and two in Weilheim (DE) plus the Italian Space Agency’s user ground station in Matera (IT), EDRS is the first truly European laser communications network.

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