SES Techcom, a subsidiary of SES S.A. (NYSE Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announced today that it has successfully supported satellite communication links with a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), using SES Ku-band capacity, to establish reliable command and control, Air Traffic Control and Mission data transfer.

The DeSIRE (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the Insertion of RPAS in Europe) initiative, is an ESA-EDA (European Space Agency-European Defence Agency) project in which SES is involved, together with partners such as ThalesAleniaSpace and AT-one (an European Economic Interest Group consisting of Dutch Aerospace Laboratory NLR and German Aerospace Centre DLR). The initiative follows another ESA study (ESA SINUE) during which SES was already partnering with INDRA, the Spanish information technology and defense systems company.

The demonstration involved the deployment of a Heron-1 RPAS, using safe and secure Satcoms provided by SES, for maritime surveillance applications offshore Spain. The project demonstrated the safe operation of RPAS in non-segregated airspace using satellite communications. Several partners, such as the GUCI (Spanish "Guardia Civil") and AENA (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea), supported the project.