Telematics International Mission & Telematics Earth Observation Mission

Telematics Earth Observation Mission (TOM)

The Telematics International Mission (TIM) is a multinational effort to combine multiple nanosatellite missions in an international formation/constellation, aiming at different remote sensing applications. In TIM project partners specialized in space projects from the Regional Leader Summit of partner states from 5 continents cooperate under the technical leadership of Zentrum für Telematik (Würzburg, Germany). Each partner contributes either small satellites or components in order to perform joint observations. Thus, the joint mission creates additional synergies and scenarios.

Telematics International Mission (TIM)

The state of Bavaria sponsors within TIM the 3 formation flying small satellites of the Telematics earth Observation Mission (TOM).

The aim of the TOM project is monitoring of volcanic eruptions that affect daily life on Earth in various ways (health, crops or the safety of air traffic). The main goal is to measure the spatial extent of volcanic ash clouds. For this purpose, 3 satellites image the cloud simultaneously from different angles. By post-processing and fusion of the observations, a 3-dimensional image is generated, which provides information about the spatial distribution, height above ground, etc.


In the frame of the TOM (Telematics Earth Observation Mission) project, an innovative and technically sophisticated approach to Earth observation and communication applications will be demonstrated. For this purpose, three small satellites are in development with an optical payload for Earth observation. The satellite data must be transmitted to Earth and analyzed there. For this purpose, a ground station network is created. It consists of the ground stations of the University of Würzburg and a network, where each one of the international partners contributes. One satellite will carry a payload for a new type of high bandwidth optical downlink in parallel to the baseline radio communication. All satellites communicate with each other via inter-satellite links and transmit recorded Earth observation data to the ground station network. In addition to experiments for Earth observation, experiments in the field of communication (protocols, routing, scheduling, etc.).


The Project was initiated 01.02.2017 and has a planned launch in 2021.


National Partners in TOM

  • TU München
  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
  • Zentrum für Telematik e.V. (ZfT) - Coordinator
  • Universität Würzburg, Lehrstühle für Informatik VII und VIII

International Partners in TIM

  • China Academy of Space Technology: Shandong Institute of Aerospace Electronics (Shandong)
  • The National Institute for Space Research (São Paulo)
  • Polytechnique Montréal (Québec)
  • Stellenbosch University (Western Cape)
  • Zentrum für Telematik e.V. (ZfT) - Technische Koordination
  • Universität Würzburg – internationaleTeamkorrdination


This project is funded by: Bayerischen Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft Landesentwicklung und Energie.


Alexander Kleinschrodt, alexander.kleinschrodt(at)telematik-zentrum.de

Further Information



TIM Newsletter

Download Tim-Newsletter as PDF


Schilling, K., Tzschichholz, T., Loureiro, G., Zhang, Y., Steyn, H., Beltrame, G., de Lafontaine, J., Schlacher, K., “The Telematics International Mission TIM for 3D Earth Observation by Pico-Satellites”, Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX 2017), Beijing 2017, GLEX-17,12.4x36789

Zakšek, K., James, M.R., Hort, M., Nogueira, T., Schilling, K., “Using Picosatellites for 4D-imaging of Volcanic Clouds: Proof of Concept Using ISS Photography of the 2009 Sarychev Peak Eruption”, Journal Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 210 (2018), pp: 519-530

Schilling, K., “TIM – A Small Satellite Formation for Earth Observation. Proceedings 9th International Workshop on Satellite Constellations and Formation Flying”, Toulouse. 2017, IWSCFF 17-67

Zakšek, K., Haber, R., Tzschichholz, T., Nogueira, T., Dombrovski, S., Busch, S., Niklasch, N., Schilling, K., “Telematics Earth Observation Mission”, IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation. 2017, IAA-B11-0409P

Schilling, K., Tzschichholz, T., Motroniuk, I., Aumann, A., Mammadov, I., Ruf, O., Schmidt, C., Appel, N., Kleinschrodt, A., Montenegro, S., Nüchter, A., “TOM: A Formation for Photo-grammetric Earth Observation by Three CubeSats”, IAA Conf. on University Satellite Missions, Roma 2017, IAA-AAS-CU-17-08-02

Schilling K., Aumann A., Motroniuk I., Mammadov I., Garbe D., Ruf O., Dombrovski V., Hladký M., Nüchter A. „TOM – A Pico-Satellite Formation for 3D Earth Observation“, 4S Symposium, Sorrento, 2018

Loureiro, G., W.F. Panades, A. Silva, “Lessons learned in 20 years of application of Systems Concurrent Engineering to space products”, Acta Astronautica 151 (2018), p. 44–52.

Aumann A., Motroniuk I., Mammadov I., Scharnagl J., Schilling K. „Prototypen-Mission für die Erstellung von 3D Wolkenhöhenkarten - Kleinstsatelliten für Erdbeobachtung“, Work-shop AK Umweltinformationssysteme, 2018

Kleinschrodt A., Motroniuk I., Aumann A., Mammadov I., Hladky M., Bilal M., Freimann A., Minshi L., Lianxiang J., Malan F., Feng L., Beltrame G., Schilling K. „TIM: An International Formation for Earth Observation with CubeSats, 12th Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation, Berlin, 2019