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The SCOPS project led by Thales Alenia Space will position the European space industry at the forefront of the development of cost effective solutions

Funded by the Horizon Europe program of the European Commission 

The SCOPS project led by Thales Alenia Space will position the European space industry at the forefront of the development of cost effective solutions

•    A key milestone for European space companies to advance in the leadership of the space development paradigms of the 21st century: New Space and mega-constellations

•    Under the name SCOPS (Scalable COntroller for Power Sources), it will provide industry with a fundamental satellite component based entirely on European suppliers and, as such, not subject to third party export regulations, favouring the autonomy of the industry

•    The project will develop a controller device that will allow the construction of satellite power systems controlling several power supply lines in parallel

•    Industries, SMEs and technology institutes from Spain, Greece, Ireland, France and Belgium participate in this initiative

scops project illustration

Madrid, May 30, 2023 – Thales Alenia Space, the joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), leads from Spain the consortium of a revolutionary project, called SCOPS (Scalable COntroller for Power Sources) that will position European industry at the forefront of the development of cost effective solutions, accelerating its leadership in the ‘New Space’ of small satellites and mega-constellations, two key paradigms of space development in the 21st century. SCOPS, which officially started in Tres Cantos (Spain) on March 23rd and will end in December 2026, is part of the European Commission's Horizon Europe Research and Innovation program, one of whose pillars is European autonomy in space.

The European aerospace industry depends today on non-European countries as USA, where most of the Mixed Signal ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) are produced, the electronic chips considered to be the “brains” of the satellites and one of the elements that are more costly to produce. 

The objective of SCOPS is to provide the European space community with a scalable controller device for power sources, an ASIC that will allow the control of various power supply lines in parallel. A flexible circuit that will overcome the limitations of existing controller devices in terms of intelligence, performance level, features, and radiation robustness, enabling the design of competitive, space power supplies for multiple applications, such as highly integrated digital processors, active antenna amplification modules or high-speed image and video processors and compressors, among others. These units, in turn, will become the core of new space missions for telecommunications, Earth observation and space exploration.

This project will be based on the results of the previous PROMISE project led by Thales Alenia Space currently underway, which is working on a library of building blocks designed and tested for ASIC chips, allowing to cut by one third the production lead time and to reduce development costs of satellite components.


European autonomy in space

As pursued by the Horizon Europe work programme, this project will provide the European space sector with a fundamental component based entirely on European suppliers and, as such, not subject to third-party export regulations, favouring the independence of the industry from other countries such as the United States. 

“SCOPS will favour the growth of the sector both inside and outside our borders and will generate quality employment and technological leadership, multiplying the return to European citizens of the investment provided by this Horizon Europe initiative. For the Thales Alenia Space team in Tres Cantos it is a source of pride to lead such an avant-garde initiative”, declared Stéphane Terranova, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in Spain.

The SCOPS consortium is made up of top-tier SMEs such as ISD (Greece and Ireland) and Synergie CAD (France); key technology institutes such as IMEC (Belgium) and INPT (France); and a leading satellite manufacturer, Thales Alenia Space (France and Spain). Thales Alenia Space team in Spain leads the project and is responsible for its general coordination, ensuring the coherence and adequacy of the different developments. The company in Spain will also be responsible for the final validation of the project results, carrying out a complete campaign of electrical and radiation tests in the SCOPS ASIC.

Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 2.2 billion euros in 2022 and has around 8,500 employees in 17 sites in 10 countries across Europe and a plant in the USA.

Sandrine Bielecki    Tel.: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94
Catherine des Arcis    Tel.: +33 (0)6 78 64 63 97
Cinzia Marcanio      Tel: +39 (0)6 415 126 85