MUNICH - The Airbus SpaceDataHighway – developed with the support of the European Space Agency (ESA) - provides broadband connectivity services between the International Space Station (ISS) and the Earth. With the Columbus Ka-band (ColKa) terminal now installed and fully tested on-board the ISS, a SpaceDataHighway satellite will start to relay data via a bi-directional link in real time between the ISS Columbus Laboratory and the Columbus Control Cener located at the German Aerospace Center DLR near Munich as well as research centers across Europe.
ESA will now have a direct and sovereign access to the ISS, thus increasing the operational flexibility allowing more astronauts, scientists and researchers to benefit from a direct link with Europe. This will also enable ESA to create slots for ad-hoc experiment access and interaction with European astronauts.
The ColKa data service provision has been contracted between ESA and Airbus. As part of this new SpaceDataHighway service, Airbus has adapted its Ka-band inter-satellite link to ensure data will be channeled via the ground station at Harwell Campus, UK.