National Space Programme
50 years after the first man on the Moon the space sector is booming, and we are entering a "New Space" renaissance as numerous international missions are scheduled and Google and Amazon fund satellite mega-constellations.
Austria also has its own space programme: ASAP, established 2002 by the Federal Ministry for Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) and implemented by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).
Today ASAP is a well-established instrument to enhance Austrian space competences. It strengthens the Austrian space sector by promoting innovation, increasing competitiveness and creating jobs.
A few ASAP enabled milestones
- The first field emission electric propulsion (FEEP) technology was developed in 2005, reached market readiness in 2018 and is now sold internationally by an Austrian start-up located in Wiener Neustadt.
- Already in 2006 the first space quantum communication project was funded. The technology is now ready for satellite applications.
- ASAP supported the development of the four Austrian satellites "TUGSAT-1/BRITE-Austria" and "UniBRITE" in 2013, "PEGASUS" in 2017 and "OPS-SAT" in 2019... to be continued.
ASAP the engine for the internationalisation of Austrian space activities
Space endeavours are important, but they are expensive as well. Austria has to rely on cooperation in order to promote progress and prosperity. As a member of the European Union and the European Space Agency Austria has been an integral part of European space milestones. ASAP places great emphasis on supporting Austrian space newcomers and bilateral space projects with other space agencies (NASA, DLR, CNES, JAXA, CNSA...) and industry.
- Solution of sociopolitical challenges and realisation of market potential through satellite-based applications for climate/environmental protection, intelligent transport, 5G, food security, clean and efficient energy production, the sustainable use of natural resources and much more.
- Internationalisation, advancement of qualifications and networking
ASAP strengthens European cooperation, enables participation in international space missions and makes it possible to attain the qualifications required for ESA and EU programmes. In addition, ASAP promotes the establishment of national and bilateral networks. By facilitating collaboration between the scientific and business communities, ASAP lays the groundwork for forming strategic partnerships and applying scientific findings to create value on the market.
- Broadening the scientific and technological base of existing companies and research institutions on the one hand, and placing particular emphasis on supporting newcomers in their entry into the space sector on the other.
To reach these goals the Austrian Space Applications Programme ASAP acts as a lever to ensure competitiveness on international commercial markets and to contribute to European leadership, sustainability and autonomy in this strategic domain.
In that sense the Federal Ministry for Climate Action provides funding in the domains of:
Applications (Earth observation, communication and navigation)
The benefit, strategic importance and economic value of the use of satellites are already demonstrated very clearly in the fields of weather forecasting, satellite communication, navigation, the monitoring of climate and environmental change, and the prevention and management of natural disasters. The use of European space infrastructure (Copernicus and Galileo) is constantly increasing. ASAP makes a key contribution to ensuring that innovative services based on these systems are developed in Austria.
Technologies for Space Flight
The environmental conditions in space place tremendous demands on materials and mechanical systems, fail-proof electronics and software, and thermal control.
The commercially driven "New Space" sector requires technologies for more effective and cost-efficient products and services. ASAP supports the development of technologies (for satellite platforms, payloads, the ground segment, data infrastructure and launcher systems) for use in national, European and international space missions in conventional space flight as well as for "New Space" activities.
Space Research and Science
ASAP bolsters Austrian excellence by developing instruments for scientific satellites and obtaining new scientific findings through the analysis of the data they provide. The use of scientific space technology provides new insights about the solar system, exoplanets and the origin of the universe.