Varadis awarded €600,000 European Space Agency contract

Tyndall National Institute CEO, Prof. William Scanlon with Varadis Co-founder and CEO, Brad Wrigley

Radiation detection technology to be deployed on satellites



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8 April 2021 | 0

Deep technology radiation detection company Varadis has won a significant contract with the European Space Agency (ESA).

The Cork-based company’s novel radiation detection sensors and sub-systems are well known to the global space exploration industry and have already been used by astronauts in the International Space Station. Varadis technology is also used by several of the largest private and public sector organisations around the world.

The technology, Radiation Sensing Field Effect Transistors (RADFETs), is built on 30 years of research at Tyndall National Institute, and accurately measures the absorbed doses of ionizing radiation such as gamma rays, protons, and x-rays. Now ESA are expanding the use of this technology on satellites.




Satellite Communications (SATCOM) is a fast-growing industry expected to reach $40 billion by 2026 and the award of this contract, with a total value of €600,000, will allow Varadis to design and manufacture a next generation ‘plug and play’ radiation detection module for satellites. 

“As the smallest and most effective solution on the market with such an expansive detection range the plug and play module will provide our customers with huge tech gains and savings on time and in-house R&D costs when adding radiation detection to their satellites,” said Brad Wrigley, co-founder and CEO, Varadis.

“By using the Varadis module configuration with defined electronic interfaces we minimise the risk on the integrity of customer’s existing system designs.  Space on satellite circuitry boards is often at a premium for manufacturers. We’re incredibly grateful for the continued partnership with ESA and Enterprise Ireland.”

 Peter Finnegan, manager of ESA Space Solutions Centre Ireland and Head of New Ventures at Tyndall, welcomed the announcement: “Varadis is an ESA Business Incubation Centre Ireland supported company that is commercialising ground breaking propriety technology that was developed at Tyndall. Varadis has been supported by Enterprise Ireland, the European Space Agency, UCC Innovation and Tyndall, which underscores our combined commitment to the commercialisation agenda.”

“Varadis is another example of the rapid growth in Irish companies engaging with ESA to develop opportunities in the commercial space market,” said Tom Kelly, divisional manager, Enterprise Ireland. “We are delighted to see that Varadis is going from strength-to-strength. In addition to the clear technology advancements they will gain under this ESA contract, Varadis have increased their head count and plan further hires over the next year.” 

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