CORSARIO Project: The satellite communications system to be used in helicopters of the future

INSTER |  Tactical and secure communications |  Tecnobit

  • A project subsidized by the CDTI and supported by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, within the Aeronautical Technology Program 2023, under the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.
  • Led by Inster-Grupo Oesía and with the participation of Airbus Helicopters Spain, Tecnobit-Grupo Oesía and ANZEN Engineering as business partners.
  • Its objective is to develop a new SATCOM communications system for rotary wing aircraft (helicopters) that reduces the current limitations of transmitting large volumes of data, using electronic pointing technology.


Madrid, February 26, 2024 – Inster-Grupo Oesía, together with Airbus Helicopters España, Tecnobit-Grupo Oesía and ANZEN Engineering, have launched the CORSARIO project, with the aim of developing a SATCOM satellite communications system for rotary-wing aircraft (helicopters) capable of transmit large volumes of data effectively and without interference.

This initiative is intended to optimize helicopter communications in search and rescue or surveillance operations, among several of its dual applications.

The project, which is scheduled for completion in June 2025, is subsidized by the CDTI and supported by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, within the framework of the Aeronautical Technology Program 2023, under the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

Developed under the umbrella of an industrial consortium, it also has the participation of three research organizations: the Center for Aeronautical Technologies Foundation (CTA), the Tecnalia Research and Innovation Foundation (TECNALIA) and the Andalusian Foundation for Aerospace Development (FADA).

The great challenge of SATCOM communication systems in rotary wing aircraft applications.

Today, rotary-wing aircraft have beyond line-of-sight communications and SATCOM systems. This limits bandwidth and does not allow aircraft to transmit large volumes of data.

In addition, current aircraft have mechanical MSA antenna pointing, which leads to the incorporation of bulky equipment and, consequently, a negative impact on aerodynamics and an increase in weight, which translates into a loss of aircraft efficiency and an increase in fuel consumption. In addition, there is an occasional risk of loss of communications due to periodic blocking of the SATCOM signal caused by rotor blades.

CORSARIO: At the forefront of innovation, technology, communications security and sustainability in the aerospace industry

The CORSARIO project aims to provide a solution to these limitations. With respect to bandwidth, CORSARIO proposes to operate through wide spectrum and very high frequency bands whose characteristics are optimal for the transmission of large volumes of data. In addition, this new SATCOM communications system with electronic pointing will rely on geostationary (GEO) constellations to achieve permanent communications coverage on the ground.

In the environmental aspect, CORSARIO seeks to reduce the impact by providing a flat design to the antenna technology and electronic pointing (ESA) to, on the one hand, reduce the aerodynamic impact of the antenna and, on the other hand, avoid possible interruptions or interference with the rotor blades. With this type of antenna, the volume and weight of this technology is also reduced, so that the aircraft, being lighter, would need to consume less fuel and, therefore, contribute to reducing atmospheric emissions and making the aeronautical industry increasingly sustainable. In short, a project that will contribute to the positioning of the Spanish aeronautical industry at the technological forefront in the development and manufacture of this communications systems technology.

A business-research consortium supported by European funds

To achieve the project’s objective, we have sought the participation of leading companies in their fields of activity, with complementary profiles and proven experience that will enable them to address the demanding technological challenges that arise and that the sector has so far been unable to respond to due to the high degree of technical complexity.

The CORSARIO project is led by Inster-Grupo Oesía, specialized in radio communications, in charge of the exhaustive analysis and research of the satellite antenna, according to the possible applications on rotary wing platforms, of the preliminary simulations, as well as of the design, manufacturing and validation tests of the new technology.

The rest of the consortium is made up of leading companies in the aeronautical sector such as Airbus Helicopters España, which is the integrator of the development solutions for the project; Tecnobit-Grupo Oesíafocused on the design, development and integration of communications control components, its work is focused on the research and development of a new processor and centralized antenna control unit (ACU), as well as the integration of the modem with the rest of the systems and its subsequent validation in a real environment; and ANZEN EngineeringThe company is a leader in engineering specialized in Safety & Reliability, which will guarantee the reliability and safety of the equipment, as well as the implementation of MBSE (Model Based System Engineering) design technology, a pioneer in the automation of processes and the concentration of all engineering specialties in a single model.

The CORSARIO project is part of the Aeronautical Technology Program (PTA) 2023, of the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, under the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, due to its innovative nature, as well as the technological progress it entails. Thus, this project has been subsidized by the CDTI and supported by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.

Carlos Founaud, R&D&I director of Grupo Oesía statedOur company implements its research and development projects with low TRL, working in coordination with our different brands to obtain developments that have a positive impact on society and thus contribute to our purpose of creating a better, more efficient, safer and sustainable world”.

In turn, Miguel Díaz, director of Inster-Grupo Oesía, emphasized that “with this project our company wants to contribute to reinforce the Spanish sovereignty in satellite communications, positioning our aeronautical industry at the international forefront”.

For his part, Pablo de la Cruz, CEO of ANZEN Engineering said thatcertifying that the model meets the requirements of ‘Safety and Reliability’ is crucial to the success of a prototype and its subsequent implementation in the market. In this sense, ANZEN’s participation in projects of the size and institutional backing as CORSARIO represents not only an exciting challenge, but also a valuable opportunity to contribute significantly to the transformation of the aeronautical industry. We also expect to obtain relevant advances in the validation of the MBSE and MBSA methodology as a new design paradigm in the aeronautical industry. We have been working for some time with the Spanish industry and institutions to lead this major transformation, which is of great relevance to our sector”.


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