[SatNews] "Currently we are investigating the possibility of taking our cooperation in the next level and becoming a member of European Space Agency…"
Testing of the Cyprus-based European Earth Stations (MEOLUT) is to be concluded this year, Communications and Works Minister Marios Demetriades said on Monday. The minister was speaking at the opening of a workshop organized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) on the efficient use of satellite resources.
The installation of the MEOLUT station in Cyprus has been completed and the testing operation of the system is expected to conclude within 2014," said Demetriades.
The MEOLUT (Medium Earth Orbit Local User Terminal) is part of the MEOSAR (Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue) System of the COSPAS-SARSAT System. The Space Segment of the MEOSAR system is composed of the constellations: SAR/Galileo, DASS/GPS and SAR/Glonass. The SAR/Galileo system is based on a number of Galileo satellites equipped with SAR payloads that relay distress beacon signals back to Earth. SAR/Galileo System is composed of the Ground Segment of the COSPAS-SARSAT System and the Ground and Space Segment of the SAR/Galileo System. In 2010, Cyprus and the European Commission reached an agreement on the establishment of the GALILEO ground station in the Larnaca district. The move renders Cyprus as a Ground Segment Provider through a network of three European Earth Stations MELOUT stations. The other two are in Norway and Spain (Maspalomas).
"Currently we are investigating the possibility of taking our cooperation in the next level and becoming a member of European Space Agency… which will open new doors and prospects for Cyprus," Demetriades said.
He said advances in satellite technology had given rise to a healthy satellite services sector that provides various services to broadcasters, Internet service providers, governments, the military and other sectors.
These advances have also made access to spectrum and orbit resources a crucial asset for satellite companies and countries, more and more challenging, the minister said.
He said currently, Cyprus had two highly equipped, state of the art ground stations, operated and maintained by experienced well-known companies, like Cyta and Hellas Sat Consortium.
"These companies have helped to promote Cyprus as a premier telecommunications hub in the Mediterranean region, creating the conditions to make Cyprus the base for hosting international data centers and telecom recovery services," he said.
"They have managed to attract well-known satellite companies, like Avanti, which has chosen Cyprus as part of its project to provide satellite high speed broadband services all around Europe, bridging the gap to geographical areas with digital deficit." Besides its ground stations, Cyprus is also one of the countries that has an in orbit working satellite, made through its collaboration with Hellas Sat Consortium.
This collaboration placed the Republic of Cyprus in the global satellite map and also paved the way to other satellite providers to choose Cyprus for the implementation of their business plans. Currently we have three additional satellite providers, AP Planetsky, OverHorizon(Cyprus) and Olympus Satellites, which are authorized by the Republic, the minister added.