€4.2m funding will support a nine-month feasibility study.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a Public Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with satellite communication provider Inmarsat to develop technologies for space-enabled communication services.
The partnership will support the Inmarsat Communications Evolution (ICE) initiative, which will boost the capabilities of the next generation of mobile satellite services.
The ICE initiative is expected to create an open architecture with standardised interfaces, which will provide an easy entry point for application developers.
The initiative is also expected to trigger the creation of new products and services
ESA will be funding of €2m and Inmarsat will be contributing €1.9m, along with Space Engineering Italy, Airbus Defence & Space UK and RUAG Switzerland providing a total of €0.3m to support a nine-month feasibility study, for which Inmarsat will be the prime contractor.
Through the feasibility study, Inmarsat plans to focus on identifying enabling technologies, in space and on the ground, that could increase the throughput and coverage of satellite communications.
It will facilitate the creation of lower cost, smaller terminals and develop modular components that can be used in wide range of devices.
It is seeks to also boost the commercial opportunities offered through the development of connected applications.
The ICE PPP is expected to open doors for the introduction of innovative technologies and solutions that can improve and expand the capabilities of mobile satellite communications.
Inmarsat chief technology officer Michele Franci said: "We would like to extend our thanks to ESA, and the UK Space Agency, for their support and the vision to see how the UK and all of Europe can benefit from the expansion of the commercial space industry."