Published on 17 February 2021
The contract was signed during a virtual event on Friday 12 February 2021 by ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes Josef Aschbacher and the CEO of the Belgian company Aerospacelab Benoit Deper. The event was attended by Thomas Dermine, Belgium Secretary of State, and the Belgium Delegation (including Frank Monteny, the Head of the Belgium Delegation and Steven Bogaerts, the Belgium Programme Board for the Earth Observation delegate). ESA representatives included Giuseppe Borghi, Head of the φ-Lab, Amanda Regan, Head of the Invest Office in the φ-Lab and the InCubed Programme Manager.
The development, launch and demonstration of the first Multispectral Companion Satellite prototype of Aerospacelab’s Multispectral Companion Mission has become the latest activity under ESA’s InCubed programme. The Multispectral Companion Mission (MSCM) is one of two main constellations that Aerospacelab is developing to enhance efficiency and make geospatial intelligence actionable and affordable. Under the InCubed contract, Aerospacelab will develop an In-Orbit prototype.
Representatives from ESA and the InCubed programme, Aerospacelab, Belgium Secretary of State, and the Belgian delegation joined the virtual signing event.
Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes and the agency’s next Director General, on signing the contract
This demonstration mission will comprise the first satellite of Aerospacelab’s constellation. The aim is to provide a daily global coverage with commercially focused multispectral data products that strive to reach Sentinel-2 specifications for parameters like spectral bands, MTF, SNR, resolution, within the constraints of a cost driven approach. Additional bands will also be investigated, considering the studies performed for Sentinel-2 Next Generation.