EU selects 2nd LEO consortium study
December 15, 2021
By Chris Forrester
The European Commission has selected a second consortium to supply potential ideas for a future Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) system for Europe.
Last week it named New Symphonie, which is led by Euroconsult and Unseenlabs, to present its ideas. It received €1.4 million in funding for a 6-month study.
The second consortium has now been named: UN:IO, led by Mynaric, Isar Aerospace, and Reflex Aerospace. UN:IO will also receive €1.4 million to fund its research.
UN:IO is suggesting a network of at least 400 satellites, interconnected by Mynaric’s optical communications terminal. While the consortium is exploring technical solutions to report to the EC, it is also funding a demo satellite targeted to launch as early as 2023. Mynaric, (rocket launch) Isar Aerospace, and Reflex Aerospace said about 20 European space companies overall are involved in the consortium.
UN:IO wants to see its constellation in orbit by 2025.
“We are incredibly proud that the European Commission has selected our consortium to lay out the architecture for an independent European satellite network,” said Bulent Altan, CEO/Mynaric. “Satellite communication infrastructure will become as essential for future commerce as physical bridges were in the past. It is good to see Europe intends to catch up on the technological ambition, industrial capability, and geopolitical sovereignty of other nations who are already well on their way building space infrastructure. We look forward to contributing to Europe’s own solution and provide laser communications solutions to unleash the satellite network’s full utility.”