ESA Technology Transfer Success Story - Space-style control rooms for terrestrial industries

ESA Technology Transfer Success Story - Space-style control rooms for terrestrial industries [Nov/2021]

Automating complex system coordination, as used for satellite constellations, have proven very valuable in space for efficient and fast outposts organisation. Control room constructor Ergonomics Applied to OPerationsS (EATOPS) and ESA are now cooperating to implement similar control rooms for terrestrial industries. For this, automated code generation is implemented to centralize oversight for offshore wind farms, natural gas productions and crude oil extractions.

This spin-off enables a recognition of problems ahead of time and eliminates risk of errors. The generated code simultaneously enables the creation of a digital twin without significantly cost changes. It furthermore reduces 10,000 programming hours to hundreds and lead to five times higher EATOPS turnover, according to founder Alexander Van Damme without giving specific numbers. However, the benefits are expected to expand in the future with the current trend towards full automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in the industry. Also, an expansion to other areas is considered, for example to renewable energies in offshore windfarms.

EATOPS also applies the knowledge for new projects at NASA’s Artemis mission This spin-in to the industry shows that technology transfer projects work both ways and can create direct benefits back for the space sector. For the automated NASA mission 2022 to the Moon, the seven control panels are designed and developed by EATOPS utilizing this technology.

This initiative is led by ESA's Technology Transfer and Patent Management Unit (TTPO) in ESA's Directorate for Commercialisation, Industry & Procurement. The Unit is guiding start-ups, entrepreneurs and European businesses in developing spin-offs for ESA's space technologies. More recent successful transfers can be accessed at: Technology Transfer - Funded Projects. For more information, please contact

The full Case Study report can be found in the restricted area here (please log in before).

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