Space technology is no longer just a distant possibility, but it can be harnessed to benefit our day-to-day life on Earth. At VTT, we develop new space technologies to solve global challenges, create growth for industries and help people with their everyday problems.
Space technologies can be harnessed to solve terrestrial problems: satellite communications enable connectivity in remote areas while remote sensing provides a time-efficient way to monitor algae, for example.
VTT develops critical components and sensors for small satellites, tailors data analytics for Earth Observation applications such as algae monitoring as well as optimizes satellite constellations.
VTT is a forerunner in developing advanced satellite-terrestrial 5G and 6G communication networks and phased array components with satellite constellation design.
Working with VTT, you’ll get access to world-class researchers and over 20 years of experience in space innovation. With VTT, you’ll get a reliable partner who believes in long-term partnerships.
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Space technology enables better life on earth
What if we could reduce the response time of fire departments and help farmers detect whether nutrients were distributed equally in their fields? Or we could improve traffic safety and enable autonomous driving with systems that provide near real-time connectivity and positioning in all environments, both indoors and outdoors?
VTT develops new space technology that helps create these kinds of new solutions, enabling better life on earth.
Space technology solutions
Remote sensing and intelligent data analysis using satellites and drones help in fighting climate change and detecting forest fires at an early stage. Satellites can even trigger drones to do a detailed imaging of an environment and guide public safety personnel in catastrophic events.
Satellites integrated with 5G provide seamless connections for moving platforms, aircraft, ships and trains anywhere at sea, on land or in the air.
Examples of our space technology portfolio
VTT develops state-of-the-art imaging sensors, small satellite platforms, communication hardware and services for satellite imagery analytics.
We can offer you:
- System and technology development, component testing, simulations
- Cubesat missions
- Research including concepts and proof-of-concept development
- Satellite constellation design and planning
- Development of technologies for space and ground segment
- Testing, modelling and qualification services
- Over-The-Air testing and cyber hardening of small satellites
- Data analytics and image analysis
- IP development, licensing and technology transfers
You can find more information on the development of future satellite networks in the 3GPP report covering standardisation aspects, and in VTT’s vision paper. The paper describes how satellite, terrestrial and aerial networks can be integrated together to provide services e.g. to public safety and maritime users across the globe.
VTT develops world-leading small satellite technologies
At VTT, we believe that now and in the future, Finland will be one of the leading countries in developing new technologies for small satellites. As a research and innovation partner, we are passionate about making this a reality.
We develop new hardware solutions and technologies for satellite communications and ground segments. We are working on solutions for the 5G technology transfer to space to support various industries. An example of our excellence is our strategic collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop integrated 5G and beyond satellite-terrestrial connectivity solutions. The aim is to solve challenges identified for maritime industries and public safety, among others.
Our expertise in remote sensing and satellite data analytics ranges from analysing forestry to the development of very advanced hyperspectral imagers. Data analytics and AI technology expertise is also used to identify types of aircrafts and vessels.
Our testing environments for components and cybersecurity enable the creation of very robust small satellite systems.
In all that we do, we collaborate actively with national and international companies to create the best possible space technology.
VTT’s small satellite missions include the world’s first visible, infrared miniature hyperspectral imagers.
Video: Making space technology a part of the day-to-day life
Examples of our space technology innovations
VTT pioneers small satellite missions, such as the world’s first visible and infrared miniature hyperspectral imagers and the world’s highest frequency radios and antennas for space.
VTT also operates MilliLab, an ESA External Laboratory on Millimetre Wave Technology. The laboratory supports various industries in developing 5G communications technologies both in space and on Earth, with a particular focus on NewSpace applications.
For more than 20 years, we have participated in numerous Earth observation and deep space missions with ESA, NASA and major space companies.
Example case: Kuva Space & ESA
Next-generation telecom satellite
VTT, Kuva Space and ESA joined forces to investigate a new frequency band for the next generation of telecommunications satellites. W-Cube is a nanosatellite with a VTT-developed dual-frequency beacon transmitter that makes it possible to test transitioning to higher frequencies in the future.
- 75 GHz frequency signal from space to Earth for the first time in history
- Leading technology in millimeter-wave satellite hardware development
- Paving the way for next-generation 5G communication networks
Experts in space technology applications
From state-of-the-art imaging sensors to seamless satellite connections, our experts can help you harness space technology to benefit your business.
Prof. Höyhtyä has been working for almost 20 years on connectivity technology development both for terrestrial and satellite networks. He has led several European Space Agency (ESA) projects as well as prepared a joint vision with ESA for 5G and Beyond networks. Recently, he has been coordinating space technology research at VTT, covering also positioning and Earth Observation technologies. He is an associate professor at the National Defence University of Finland as well as at the University of Oulu.
Dr. Tauno Vähä-Heikkilä is the Vice President of VTT’s Microelectronics and Quantum technology. He is also the Director of European Space Agency’s external laboratory on millimeter waves - MilliLab. What is more, Vähä-Heikkilä is responsible for VTT’s space activities. He has over 20 years of experience working with several industry segments including consumer electronics, telecom infrastructure, industrial, space, aerospace and defense applications.
Related ecosystems and projects
New Space Economy
New Space Economy Finland ecosystem includes multiple research organizations and companies covering stellar technology competences in Finland.
How to work with us
Tell us what you want to do, and we will figure out how to do it. No project is too small or too ambitious – we would love to hear from you. After the initial assessment, we might be able to offer some of the following options.
Every research case is unique, and we’re happy to tailor our services to your needs. We’ll take you from idea to prototype without hassle.
We frequently participate in research and development projects with multiple business partners and funding agencies. In cooperative projects the risk is split between multiple organisations and everyone benefits from the results.
Our networks and ecosystems at your disposal
We are happy to put you in touch with the ideal sparring and development partner.