The events of the last few days have tragically demonstrated the importance of satellite communication in Germany, but also throughout Europe. Not only do early warning systems rely on information from earth observation satellites, communication and, above all, coordination of rescue teams could hardly be managed without support from low earth orbits. Especially since the severe disaster caused terrestrial systems to reach their limits early on or were also affected by the destruction.
The satellite system that is able to provide such information and images in near real-time, is part of the Copernicus program of the European Union and ESA. Here, among other things, the two twin satellite pairs Sentinel-1A and -1B as well as Sentinel-2A and -2B fly in low-earth orbits in order to create high-resolution images. With laser communication terminals (LCT) from TESAT, this data is sent to geostationary satellites of the European Data Relay Satellite System (EDRS) in order to make the information usable on earth within a very short time frame.
The use of the TESAT LCTs in the context of the EDRS provides the decisive advantage, as the satellite images are available in barely more than 15 minutes for planning time-critical support. Images and information that – without the help of the optical payloads – would either take hours to download or would otherwise only be available in lower resolution.
We at TESAT are happy to be able to make a contribution here with our technology and to be able to prevent worse.
Further links: Situation information for disaster management - DLR Portal