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Air and Space Policy > Belgian Air and Space Policy

Belgian Space potential

In all, over forty Belgian enterprises are developing to different degrees an activity in the space field. For some of them, this space orientation represents all or a large part of their turnover. For others, it constitutes an opportunity to become familiar with advanced generic technologies common to the space and non-space sectors.

In addition, 36 scientific teams are participating in the 75 Belgian projects selected in PRODEX.

Furthermore, various Belgian centres are constantly performing testing, calibration or inspection activities for the ESA. This is the case for the Liège Space Centre (CSL - Centre Spatial de Liège) for precision tests under vacuum conditions, the Von Karman Institute in Rhode-Saint-Genèse (plasmatron) for studying the re-entry of spacecraft into the atmosphere, the Cyclotron Research Centre in Louvain-la-Neuve, which studies the effects of cosmic radiation on electronic components.

A significant share of the activity of the Louvain-based IMEC institute is devoted to designing microelectronic components for spatial systems.

The Redu Centre forms part of the ESA's ground station infrastructure, and its primary task is to control orbiting (for the most part telecommunication) satellites.

Furthermore, an agreement was concluded with our French, Swedish and Italian partners and the European Commission to install at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO - Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek) in Mol the "Vegetation Image Processing Centre" (CTIV - Centre de traitement des images Végétation) within the framework of exploiting the data to be furnished by the SPOT-VEGETATION instrument. Belgium has thus been given an active role in the exploitation and marketing of satellite data.

Experiments in the fields of solar physics, atmospheric studies and microgravity have been performed in the space shuttle from a remote operations centre installed in the Royal Meteorological Institute. These space experiments conducted from Belgian soil constituted a European first. Currently, the telescience project is being developed in Belgium by setting up installations in the universities and research centres which make it possible to conduct space experiments directly from the laboratories and to involve these laboratories in real-time analyses of data coming from space.

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