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Successful Data-link experiment for stratospheric balloon in polar region

Wednesday, January 30 2019
Specialising in stratospheric balloon activities, ECA Group worked together with the University of Rome in preparing the “OLIMPO” balloon flight mission, from Spitsbergen Island, Svalbard, above the Polar Circle.

ECA Group successfully participated in a stratospheric balloon mission deploying its telecommunication system, IRILASI.

As part of its stratospheric balloon activities, ECA Group worked together with the University of Rome "La Sapienza" in preparing the “OLIMPO” mission in Svalbard, above the North Polar Circle.

The “OLIMPO” experiment uses the cosmic microwave background as a backlight to study the largest structures of the Universe. The measurements are transmitted on the ground by the IRILASI telecommunication system developed by ECA Group for (ASI) the Italian Space Agency.

ECA Group’s maintenance operation consisted in restarting the ground station after several years of immobility in these polar conditions and checking the good communication with the IRILASI system.

Recently in July 2018, the European scientists were able to carry out this challenging project with success, a circumpolar flight of 5 days to cover more than 1200km at 38km altitude with a payload of more than 2 tons.

Mission scientists expressed their gratitude for the successful result of IRILASI data link which worked perfectly well during this international experiment.

OLIMPO’s mission proves ECA Group high level of reliability and strong support.


We are really happy of the way the L band system worked in this campaign and are really grateful to ECA Group who assisted us in a very effective and professional way on every aspect.


ECA Group continues its growth strategy offering its customers turnkey solutions for operational and scientific applications, thus focusing on the ground segment of earth observation, navigation and telecommunications markets.


ECA Group has been supplying for over 40 years on-board and ground equipment for piloting and locating stratospheric balloons for space agencies.


ECA GROUP and OLIMPO stratospheric balloon mission above the North Polar Circle

ECA Group and OLIMPO stratospheric balloon mission above the North Polar Circle

Control/command ON-BOARD IRILASI system for stratospheric balloons


Control/command ON-BOARD IRILASI system for stratospheric balloons.

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