One of the most interesting and innovating entrepreneurial projects recently implemented in Madeira is the Eutelsat Centre of Telemetry, Command and Ranging of Satellites (TCR).
Based in the Industrial Free Trade Zone of Madeira, at Caniçal, the construction of this TCR Centre is part of Eutelsat’s global infrastructure programme, which has been developed to meet the need to expand its satellite network.
Eutelsat is both the European leader and one of the three biggest satellite operators in the world. As part of its activity, the group provides a whole large range of services covering telecommunication, amongst which television broadcast, Internet access and entrepreneurial communications networks. To accomplish its goal, Eutelsat has a system supported by 28 satellites in a geostationary orbit, a number which will grow until the end of 2011 with four more satellites joining the fleet.
Eutelsat Madeira is a company, which also develops commercial activities in addition to the TCR operation. As owner of part of the W2A satellite, in operation since May 2009, Eutelsat manages in an absolutely autonomous way a client portfolio, which buys capability and services of telecommunications provided through the W2A.
In order to find the best location to install this new TRC Centre, Eutelsat analysed several different locations outside Madeira. The option for this Portuguese region was the result of various factors such as the financial, geographic, technical and human resources available. The tax benefits available in the International Business Centre of Madeira were one of the key factors. In addition, the specific geographical position of Caniçal, for instance, allowed the western expansion of the capability of Eutelsat to monitor and controls its satellites.
For the company’s decision it was also important to find a friendly business environment and the contact with local entities able to create the right conditions to set up a project such as the TCR of Eutelsat. Furthermore, the company found in Madeira the technical and human resources necessary to develop the project, both regarding the construction of the infrastructure and the appropriate staff to manage it.
Eutelsat Madeira presently employs eight professionals, all of them with high technical skills and qualifications from Madeira.
The construction of the TCR Centre
The construction of the TCR Centre began in October of 2009. Complying with the most demanding rules applicable to this type of installation, the TCR building has an uninterruptable energy system, air-conditioned environment and security, and a complex network of underground communications to guarantee the connection between Madeira and other Eutelsat Centres.
During the construction process, special care was given to the foundations necessary to set the satellite dishes, in order to provide it with stability and resistance in a location where sometimes the wind blows very strongly.
The construction programme of the TCR Centre was accomplished complying all the rules with maximum precision, having as its main goal to guarantee the efficiency and safety of one of the most important networks of communications satellites in the world.