• Space on the Rise

    Space year 2019 sets important course for the future
  • TESAT Campus: Success Story continues

    The success story of our TESAT Campus continues. Meanwhile, our second and third training was finished and thirteen new, happy and successfully certified participants could be released to the world of EEE space parts.
  • TESAT @ Space Tech Expo 2019

    Tomorrow starts this year’s Space Tech Expo Europe in Bremen and, counting as a home match, we will be there as almost every years. Even though being an old hand we are excited about the upcoming few days and are glad to be part of this great, international space community.
  • MEWS 2019: Into the future with EEE & COTS

    Already for the 32 nd time, the MEWS conference took place in Japan. This year's main topic: EEE components and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) as a trump card to NewSpace activity.
  • Parts Agency @ ACCEDE on COTS use in space

    Our TESAT Parts Agency participated at this weeks ACCEDE workshop from the European Space Agency ESA from 6. to 8. November. The conference has its focus on the use of Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components and parts for use in space applications.
  • EDRS-C opens new chapter in broadband Earth observation

    Laser Communications Terminal on board European relay satellite enables significant higher data transfer rates and shorter access times.
  • TESAT delivers game changer for SmallSat market

    Today we can announce that we delivered our first CubeLCT to a non-disclosed, US-American customer. The CubeLCT is a small, ultra-lightweight optical data transmitter, which is capable of transferring data with 100 Megabit per second from low Earth orbit satellites directly to ground. For us, this delivery marks the starting point of a new product family focusing on NewSpace applications for small satellites and CubeSats.
  • DLR Components Conference 2019

    The 18 th DLR Components Conference took place on 23 rd and 24 th May in Bonn Königswinter. The 120 participants of the German aerospace supply industry discussed intensively about news and future topics around EEE components. The TESAT Parts Agency and the EEE Centre were represented here with three lectures from Dr. Witzany (EEE Centre), Mr. Rostewitz (EEE Centre) and Dr. Kuechen (Parts Agency).
  • Nanosatellite sees the light

    Laser Communications for a new age in space TESAT, KSAT and GomSpace have partnered up to introduce full optical communications capability for new innovative small satellite missions and space-based services.
  • Tesat on the road to success

    Tesat registers increasing order intake Continuing high level of investment in research and development New CEO, Dr. Marc Steckling, expects 20 % growth in the next few years
  • Parts Agency for ORION's European Service Module

    The European Service Module (ESM) Flight Unit 1, a part of the ORION spacecraft, has successfully been shipped from Germany to the US and is now prepared for its marriage with the NASA crew vehicle to be made ready for the launch at the Kennedy Space Center. Not just being a great success for NASA, ESA and Airbus, but also for the Tesat-Spacecom Parts Agency. As subcontractor of Airbus, TESAT is leading the Coordinated Parts Procurement (CPPA) for the European Service Module, which occupies a...
  • Laser Communications Technology from Tesat setting new records

    As the worlds’ only serial manufacturer of in-orbit certificated and tested laser communication terminals, Tesat is chasing its own records. Now another LCT135 terminal has been produced, tested and qualified in record time and is ready for delivery.
  • German space alliance relies on technology from Tesat-Spacecom

    As prime for the scientific-technical payload and responsible for the military repeater, Tesat-Spacecom is responsible for the design, construction and verification of the core elements of the German space mission “Heinrich Hertz”.
  • Live: Launch of Aeolus

    Aladin’s magic lamp ready for take off: After 16 years of preparation and tough technical difficulties, Aeolus is finally ready to go for its final destination in low earth orbit. Weighing 1.4 tons, Aeolus carries the payload “Aladin”(Atmospheric Laser Doppler Instrument), which is based on the concept of LIDAR (Light detection and ranging), a method related to RADAR, but with laser beams for distance measuring instead of radio waves.
  • VDI-Nachrichten: Shining Light

    Recently an editor of the VDI-Nachrichten paid us a visit for his research on laser communications and EDRS-C, having no fear bringing our experts to their limits and asking difficult and uncomfortable questions. The result is an exciting and extensive article with the headline „Lichtgestalt“ („Shining Light“). The article describes our LCT135, which we developed and produced in cooperation with DLR IKN, and its role within Airbus’ SpaceDataHighway. Many thanks to Iestyn Hartbrich for the...
Conflict Minerals

We see the materials gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum in our every day life. Each of our devices contains at least on of these raw materials, be it gold in the bonding wires, tantalum in the capacitor, tungsten in a traveling wave tube amplifier or tin in a soldered point. The sources of these raw materials are mines in resource rich countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. There the profit out of the export of the raw materials does not lead to a wealthy economy but finances the lasting for years civil war.

In this conflict region around Congo in the last 20 years more than 5,4 million people died as a result of the civil war. This is the deadliest conflict since the Second World War. Thereby the Congolese army and more than 40 different rebellious groups lead fierce battles for the raw materials in the Congolese ground, because with the profit of the raw material sale weapons, ammunition and soldiers can be paid. The victims of these fights are the local people, who are forced to work and be exploited. Sometimes it comes to violence and sexual offenses against women. An approach to improving this situation is to take the rebels their money source away, by ensuring that they are not longer able to sell the raw materials.

In the year 2010 Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Franc Act, in which the section 1502 “conflict minerals” anchors this approach in a specific law. It says that US companies, which are listed on the US stock market, have to submit an annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, in which they state whether they use conflict minerals in their products or not. Conflict minerals are defined as gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum. If one of these materials is in the finalc product, the country of origin has to be proven additionally.

160502 conflict minerals 2

With the publication of these reports the companies that don’t control the origin of their raw materials shall be pilloried. The corporate social responsibility of a company nowadays is becoming increasingly important so the companies pass on the public pressure to their suppliers. World wide more than 270,000 suppliers are affected, which on their turn don’t want to lose US companies as their customers. This legislation has caused between three and four billion US-Dollar on costs for compliance, from which about one third the suppliers have to bear out of obligingness to stay competitive.

In Europe there is no legal restriction of conflict minerals at the moment, but requirements of US customers to avoid them are transferred to Tesat-Spacecom. Because of this in October 2015 a new office was created, the “Conflict Minerals Expert” in the area Supply Chain Management. The conflict minerals expert is the first contact for customer inquiries to this topic. Also he elaborates a strategy how the requirements in context of the supply chain can be transferred to the suppliers of Tesat-Spacecom.

For some time the EU works on a legal commitment to control the origin of conflict minerals, too. A result is expected for this year. That will affect about 880,000 companies in the EU. All the better that Tesat-Spacecom is already on the way to fulfill these requirements.


IMAGE SOURCE: Kenny Katombe / Reuters, Siegfried Modola / Reuters