FARNBOROUGH, England — The aeronautical sector has ignored or is unaware of substantial funding available from the European Space Agency’s Integrated Applications Program, which has demonstrated its openness to aeronautical research, said ESA’s Alan Brunstrom, head of the applications business office at ESA’s telecommunications directorate, newly relocated to Britain’s ESA campus in Harwell, England.
Thanks in part to an increase in investment from Britain and Luxembourg, the 20-nation ESA has increased its telecommunications spending. Much of the Integrated Applications Program (IAP) is designed as co-funded ESA-industry projects in specific areas that show commercial promise.
ESA pays 50 percent of the costs, and the industrial partner pays the remaining 50 percent either in cash or in-kind contributions. The average ESA contribution is about 900,000 euros ($1.2 million).
“We have about 300 IAP projects, including some in aviation,” Brunstrum said during the Farnborough Air Show in England. “They are intended to be market-led and to last one or two years. Of the 300 active products we have managed over the last several years, about a dozen have been aviation-related. The aviation sector really has not seized this opportunity and I don’t know why that is.”
Among the ESA co-funded projects is a program with the European Defence Agency, a European Union organization, to test satellite connectivity on unmanned air vehicles in civilian airspace. Another project, called FlySafe, designed a bird-avoidance system that has since become an operational service.
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