Indra has developed a direct access terminal (DAT) under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to allow governments, organisations and companies to directly and autonomously retrieve data from Earth observation satellites, as well as receive high-resolution images virtually in real-time.

Users will be able to download the telemetry sent by satellites by using an antenna and the innovative terminal, which will process the data received to swiftly create images.

Once the agreements are signed with satellite operators, users will be allowed to independently link to satellites.

In less than 15 minutes from the data acquisition, users will be able to receive the constellation image they require.

The degree of detail of these high-resolution images will enable users to identify a vessel at sea or vehicle at any location on the planet. These images can help detect and monitor spreading wildfires, delimit zones affected by flood or damaged buildings due to an earthquake.

“The degree of detail of these high-resolution images will enable users to identify a vessel at sea or vehicle at any location on the planet.”

Images also allow a user to examine the conditions of crops across a country and estimate cereal harvest yields for the year, or containers stored in customs-free zones at ports.

Indra’s system will cut the aspects required to access this observation capability to the absolute minimum. So far, this capability has been limited to satellite operators that are equipped with expensive infrastructure such as control stations and data processing centres.

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The direct access terminal will provide only the functional features that the end-users require.

The development of Indra’s DAT has been initially designed to receive data from Spain’s PAZ radar satellite and the twin units, TerraSAR-X and TamDEM-X, which will soon begin operation jointly as a single system to observe any point on the Earth.

DAT’s system is easily adaptable for receiving and processing data from other satellites, with daily surveillance capabilities to cover approximately 300,000km², which is equivalent to 60% of Spain.