Space technology

A satellite in space with the earth in the background

VTT develops new space technologies to solve global challenges on earth, create growth for industries and help people in their everyday problems.  Our world-class satellite technology knowhow is leading the 5G technology transfer to space.

Key facts

VTT space technology research has created solutions for over 20 years to numerous missions including remote sensing and satellite communications.

We are pioneering cubesat missions and offer support for research and technology development for connectivity and remote sensing including proof-of-concepts.

Our space technology expertise is used by industries ranging from defence, public safety to maritime, traffic and arctic solutions.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to reduce the response time of fire department and help farmers detect whether nutrients were distributed equally in the field? Or improve traffic safety and enable autonomous driving with systems that provide near real-time connectivity and positioning in all indoor and outdoor environments?   

VTT develops space technologies that help create these kinds of new solutions, enabling better life on earth.

Space technology solutions

Remote sensing and intelligent data analysis using satellites and drones can provide assistance to fighting climate change and locating forest fires in early phases. Satellites can even trigger drones to do a more detailed imaging of the environment and guide public safety personnel in a catastrophic event.

Satellites integrated with 5G can provide seamless connections anywhere at sea, on land or in the air for moving platforms, aircraft, ships and trains.

World-leading satellite technology

We believe Finland will be one of the leading satellite technology countries in the future. As a research and innovation partner, VTT is passionate in making this a reality. We manufacture new satellite components and have a long background in both satellite communications and ground segment communications hardware. We are leading the 5G technology transfer to space to support various industries. An example of our excellence is our strategic collaboration with the European Space Agency to develop integrated 5G and beyond satellite-terrestrial connectivity. The aim is to solve challenges identified for maritime industries and public safety, among others.

VTT’s small satellite missions include the world’s first visible and infrared miniature hyperspectral imagers.

Our expertise in remote sensing and satellite data analytics ranges from analysing forestry and finding wood cuts to the development of very advanced hyperspectral imagers. Data analytics and AI technology expertise is used also to identify types of aircrafts and vessels.

Our testing environments for components and cyber security enable the creation of very robust small satellite systems. In each of the described areas, we collaborate actively with national and international companies to create the best possible solutions.

Concrete examples of our work

VTT is pioneering 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 operates MilliLab, an ESA External Laboratory on Millimetre Wave Technology. This helps in developing 5G communications technologies both in space and on Earth. This is especially interesting in the scope of New Space applications.

More than 20 years we have participated in numerous Earth observation and deep space missions with ESA, NASA and the major space companies.

How to engage with VTT space technology

  • Cubesat missions
  • Research including concepts and proof-of-concept developments
  • Industry verticals ranging from public safety to maritime, traffic and arctic solutions
  • Development of technologies for space and ground segment
  • Testing, modelling and qualification services

More information about future satellite network development can be found from the 3GPP report covering standardization aspects, and from our vision paper describing how satellite, terrestrial and aerial networks can be integrated together to provide services e.g. to public safety and maritime users across the globe.

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