ESA and the Location Darmstadt
In Europe, the European Space Agency (ESA) runs by now six incubation centres. cesah is contracted to run one of them in Darmstadt, close to the European Space Operations Centre ESOC.
ESOC is the control centre of ESA and “Europe’s gateway to space”. Since 1967 it is in charge of all the ESA satellites, the necessary ground stations and the communication Network. ESOC has, until now, overseen more than 50 satellites operationally, like Huygens, Mars Express, Rosetta, Envisat, Smart-1 and others. ESOC also supported many other national and international missions. Due to its advanced technologies and its teams of specialists, ESOC is able to control 10 Satellites in routine and some more satellites in early stages (LEOP), or rather to execute worldwide renowned rescue missions.
The ESA Navigation Office at ESOC combines 15 years of experience in processing and refining GPS and GLONASS data. It runs the International GNSS service (IGS), as well as a worldwide network of stations and data bases. Here data from geodetic receivers are being collected and analysed. High precision data products with orbital solutions of less then 5 cm and predictions of less then 10 cm, enable time corrections in the range of nanoseconds and a position determination in the range of centimetres. It is one of the few centres in the world for high precision localisation in the framework of scientific applications, like for instance EGNOS, ERS-2, ENVISAT, METOP, SMOS, ATV and Herschel/Plank. Since 2000 ESOC makes a significant technological contribution to the European satellite navigation system GLAILEO.
More than 100 young companies are located in the Technology and Innovation Centre (TIZ). Incubators supported by cesah may decide to get established in this innovative area.
Next to ESOC and TIZ, a few shareholders of cesah, like Telespazio VEGA Deutschland and T-Systems, are located.
In adition to many innovative companies, Darmstadt also has two universities, the Darmstadt University of Technology (TUD) and the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (h_da), and some renowned research institutes like several Fraunhofer Institutes and the Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research (GSI).