Dedicated to ESA’s Earth-observing activities, ESA-ESRIN, in Frascati, near Rome, is the European centre of excellence for exploitation of Earth observation missionsin Frascati, near Rome. On behalf of ESA, Ars Electronica Solutions already implemented an interactive visitor center in 2018, inviting visitors to engage with Earth observation and space exploration. In addition to the Φ-Experience, a new ESA ESRIN Visitors Centre will be available from 2024: Ars Electronica Solutions has transformed a former ESA control room into a multimedia centre, providing satellite imagery, real-time data transmission, and a remarkable Vega-C launch experience. The expansion was internally inaugurated on October 27.

Ars Electronica Solutions places a strong emphasis on “Science Experience,” which involves accessible knowledge dissemination, presenting complex topics for all age groups. The Linz-based team has already implemented practical applications in past years at the ESA ESRIN, explaining how current research projects influence both science and everyday life. At the internal inauguration the newly redesigned ESA ESRIN Visitor Centre by Ars Electronica Solutions was unveiled. Modern media design, combined with a customized sound concept, will provide visitors with a comprehensive learning experience starting in early 2024.

Due to the success of the Φ-Experience conceived by AES and ESA and the Memorabilia Wall in Frascati, there has been an ongoing creative process on the development of a new part to complement the multimedia centre. This new area was previously dedicated to the CREOP (Control Room for Earth Observation Payloads) but has recently been completely refurbished as a showcase of activities that are carried out on the ESA ESRIN establishment.

Several interactive Installations like “Discover ESA” – an interactive wall print where ESA Establishments and the ESRIN site, the integration of a cut-open VEGA-C rocket model is also set in scene by means of projection, sound and lighting technology a rocket launch. A Kids station introducing Paxi, ESA’s education mascot can be interactively discovered, painted and sent in the interactive wall print. Besides a “Countdown Timer” displaying the upcoming missions of ESA there is a “Big Projection” presenting the beauty and fragility of our earth as seen from Copernicus Satellites. Copernicus is the Earth observation component of the European Union’s Space programme, looking at our planet and its environment to benefit all European citizens. It offers information services that draw from satellite Earth Observation and in-situ (non-space) data. A real time data installation shows the current position of the ESA satellites and daily updated satellite images of the Copernicus fleet. Followed by an interactive display presenting collections of asteroids and the Keplerian and perturbed orbits of Near Earth Objects “NEOs” in a 3D environment of the Solar System. Another highlight is a real meteorite found in Sahara which is placed on turntable linked to an interactive “Meteorite projection“ representing how the meteorite is heading towards earth impact. No less spectacular is a Sentinel 1 satellite model from the Copernicus family on the ceiling which, in combination with a screen embedded in the floor, LEDs and displays on the wall, impressively illustrates the steps of the Sentinel 1 data processing. The ESRIN Visitors Centre is rounded off by a large presentation wall that provides further insights into the ESA universe and can also be easily used for external presentations.

ESA’s centre for Earth observation in Frascati, near Rome, manages the ground segment for ESA and third-party Earth observation satellites, maintaining the largest archive of environmental data in Europe and coordinating over 20 ground stations and ground segment facilities in Europe. It also hosts the project team managing the Vega small-launcher programme.
The core activities of ESA ESRIN are: Earth Observation, Earth observation multimedia centre, Vega, Space Rider, Near- Earth Object Coordination Centre and European Centre for Space Records.

Project Credits:
Stefan Dorn, David Holzweber, Fadil Kujundzic, Harald Moser, Patrick Müller, MyTrinh Müller-Gardiner, Andreas Pramböck, Isabel Schölmbauer, Roland Stampfer, Dominik Trichlin
Markus Wipplinger

Tatiana Burukhina, Chiara Luisa Ferrario, Stefano Fiorido, Ivano Fusco, Emmanouil Lagoudakis, Michele Martino, Robert Meisner, Michael Tisone, Sarah Louise Walker

Garamantis GmbH
Rupert Huber
Michael Maxr
Stefan Keim / DLR
Thorsten Kiesl