ST Engineering iDirect Announces Collaboration Agreement with Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus strategic partnership

Satellite industry leaders will explore mutual synergies to optimize space to ground integration and address customer needs for commercial and government satellite programs

Herndon, VA. June 6, 2023 – ST Engineering iDirect, a global leader in satellite communications, and satellite manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space, have entered into a strategic partnership to enable tighter space to ground integration, and promote technology and vision for the future. The partnership, which comes at a time when the satellite world is evolving to software-defined satellites and the emergence of NGSO constellations, will ensure satellite operators have access to the benefits of tightly integrated space and ground solutions to address their future network architecture and service requirements.

Both parties will draw on their long history of collaboration, experience and proven technology to focus on areas of innovation and that will benefit satellite operators’ time-to-market. Areas of focus will include the fully digitized Onesat GEO satellites; NGSO constellation programs; the identification of existing and emerging use cases; the corresponding end-to-end solution architecture and future standards.

With customers focused on the reduction of costs yet with the expectation of high performance, Airbus has designed its satellite portfolio to reduce in-orbit costs, time to orbit and to deliver reconfigurable and flexible on-orbit solutions. ST Engineering iDirect’s high-performance, highly flexible ground segment technology meets these requirements.

François Gaullier, Head of Telecommunication & Navigation Systems at Airbus, said, “Airbus is delighted to extend its collaboration with ST Engineering iDirect, enabling both companies to propose satellite-based connectivity solutions designed for optimized end-to-end performance and cost. Airbus and ST Engineering iDirect’s partnership is a key step to combine our respective space and ground systems skills and assets and prepare the future space-based multi-orbit telecommunications infrastructures, allowing our customers to efficiently address integrated non-terrestrial/terrestrial networks and 5G/6G challenges.”

“This strategic agreement to combine forces on our technology is an important step forward for the market,” said Frederik Simoens, CTO of ST Engineering iDirect. “Through our close collaboration with Airbus, we can further optimize the interactions between ground and space, forging new and innovative capabilities as part of an end-to-end solution. By combining our expertise, we will deliver the strongest technology offering to the market so our customers can be confident they have the right technology base to satisfy their current and future needs.”

The collaboration agreement is an extension of the companies’ recent work on the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Free Hopper project. Spearheaded by ST Engineering iDirect’s EU Satcom Center of Excellence based in Belgium, the program aims to validate the technical maturity of advanced DVB-S2X beam-hopping using the DVB-S2X standard for large European initiatives.