Arralis awarded multi-system radar contract from the European Space Agency

  • Irish Prime Minister/An Taoiseach congratulates Arralis on €400,000 multi-system radar contract from the European Space Agency

Today, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD was on hand to observe the signing of a significant European Space Agency contract awarded to Arralis, a technology company servicing the aerospace sector, founded and based in Limerick. The contract signing took place during the Enterprise Ireland Trade and Investment Mission to the Netherlands and Germany and is an extension of previous work for the agency, where Arralis successfully delivered their world beating semiconductor technology.

Arralis designs and manufactures high frequency semiconductor chips, modules and antennas up to and beyond 110GHz. As part of this contract Arralis will deliver a series of 94GHz subsystems with space end-use applications, such as massive data rate satellite to satellite communications and unmanned landing of spacecraft.

Speaking from the European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands, An Taoiseach said, “We are seeing a steady increase in the number of companies in Ireland engaging with ESA in developing technologies for the global space market with the active support of Enterprise Ireland.  ESA is at the heart of Europe’s space ambitions and it is inspiring to see Irish companies like Arralis contribute to the new technologies that are in demand by the space industry and which form the foundations of European Space programmes now and in the future”.

The 94GHz communications system developed, by Arralis, will allow future spacecraft to communicate at speeds that to date, have been unattainable. The explosion in data gathering by space probes, including high resolution imagery and video, has created a requirement for massive wireless data rate communications. With 3.17 billion worldwide data hungry internet users, demand is also steadily increasing for improved access. Back on earth wireless data speeds of 15Gbit/s over distances of 10- 15km will be made possible using the 94GHz high speed communications infrastructure. While in radar operation, the system can be used to identify dangerous landing zones avoiding small objects, such as rocks, which may cause damage to the spacecraft.

Speaking at the announcement in ESTEC, Barry Lunn, former CEO of Arralis said, “We have been working with the European Space Agency for some time and are delighted to get to deliver the world leading technology in the presence of An Taoiseach. This type of communications technology is the future of 5G, so today it’s ESA but eventually everyone will benefit from this infrastructure. That is what makes government support for ESA programs so important, so Irish SME’s can tackle the big technology advances”.

The announcement of this contract comes on the back of a number of successes for Arralis. Outside of ESA success; 2015 saw the company win significant contracts in the UK, South Korea, China and Russia for their radar technology. Arralis also announced multiple contracts from the UK Ministry of Defence for delivery of unique geolocation technology. The company secured over €1.2m in European Commission H2020 support. This success lead to awards from the Irish Exporter Association and Limerick Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the company’s fast growth.

Speaking from Amsterdam, Julie Sinnamon, CEO, Enterprise Ireland said: “During our recent Trade Mission to China, Arralis signed two contracts worth €1.45 million and I am delighted to see their continued success here today. The global market for space systems and space related services and applications is rapidly evolving – Arralis is a great example of the type of innovative Irish company with whom we are working to develop new technologies and we will continue to work with them to support their international growth which ultimately benefits job creation at home in Ireland”.


About Arralis

Arralis, a Limerick-based company with a design centre in Belfast, specialises in leading-edge, high definition radar and ultra-fast data communications in the Aerospace and Satellite markets. The company has developed world-leading expertise in Radio Frequency, micro and millimetre-wave technology. Their products, which are the ultimate in precision and innovation, are used in both global and space environments where accuracy and reliability are critical. Arralis manufactures millimetre wave semiconductor devices, modules and antennas and provide the Invisible Edge to some of the world’s largest aerospace and security companies.


Ireland’s membership of ESA

Ireland has been a long-standing participant in European space programmes, particularly through membership of the European Space Agency (ESA), and this has provided an effective means for Irish companies, most of them SME’s, to develop new opportunities both in space-related areas and other markets.

Ireland became a member of the European Space Agency in 1975. The purpose of Ireland’s membership of ESA is to participate in European space programmes with a focus on facilitating innovative Irish companies to develop leading edge space technologies and to commercially exploit their ESA participation in global space and non-space markets, leading to increased export sales and employment.

Irish industrial and research participation in ESA covers a range of sectors and technology areas including; software, precision mechanical engineering, telecommunications, electronics, optoelectronics and advanced materials and extending to end user equipment, services and applications. Enterprise Ireland (EI) provides support to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) in relation to Ireland’s membership, including handling Irish company and researcher engagement with ESA.


About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the exploration of space, with 20 member states. Established in 1975 and headquartered in Paris, France, ESA has a staff of more than 2,000 with an annual budget of about €4.28 billion.

ESA’s purpose is to provide for, and to promote, for exclusively peaceful purposes, cooperation among European States in space research and technology and their space applications, with a view to their being used for scientific purposes and for operational space applications systems. Ireland’s membership of ESA permits Irish companies and research teams to bid for ESA contract development work in a range of space programmes.

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For more information, contact:

Valerie Somers, Arralis