Portuguese archipelago in touch with space

This high-tech project will see the installation of a satellite tracking centre in Madeira, enabling the region to both track satellite movements and supply related services.

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Motivated by the desire to tap into its economic potential, Madeira is looking forward and upward with this satellite project, boosting innovation and local development and advancing its knowledge society.

The launch pad

The company leading the project is Eutelsat Madeira, part of the Eutelsat Communications Group. The Group has operations in 14 countries, generates some €850 million in turnover and employs about 590 people of 28 nationalities. The group is the leading satellite operator in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and a top-three global player in telecommunications services (fixed satellite), providing the transmission of signals from TV and radio, corporate communications and Internet access to more than 90% of the world. The current project focuses on two space communication business sectors: controlling geostationary satellites; and marketing capabilities and satellite telecommunication services.

Tracking the action

The company's facilities will be built from scratch. Once completed, they will be home to a total of 25 satellite transponders (10 "C" band and 15 “KU" band) and eight ground stations. Using this equipment, and given the geographical location of Madeira, Eutelsat Madeira aims to become a leading centre for controlling satellites and other structures in geostationary orbit, primarily those of the holding company, but also those of other operators interested in its services. The company will have the capacity to control up to eight satellites, although the number of satellites tracked from the site can be increased if required.

Fuel for the economy

Once up and running, the population as well as businesses in the region will benefit in terms of economic, financial and social knock-on effects, notably a new type of high-tech business with potential technological spin-off projects and added-value subcontracting.
The project is also in line with the key strategic objectives of the Operational Programme ‘Intervir+’, namely those relating to innovation, technological development and knowledge society. In addition, it will help promote Madeira, one of the European Union’s outermost regions, as an attractive investment location.


Draft date

07/02/2011