South Korea, Thales to develop SBAS for aviation

October 25, 2016  - By
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South Korea and France’s Thales Group will jointly develop an advanced Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) for GPS by 2021.

The country’s state-run Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) will sign a $40 million deal with Thales Group on Oct. 26, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The new SBAS, dubbed KASS (Korean Augmentation Satellite System), especially will help reduce errors in aviation GPS, which currently occur at a rate of one in 5 million and by up to 16 meters horizontally and 20 meters vertically.

“By reducing the error and providing more accurate location of aircraft by using satellites, the SBAS is expected to help set the shortest air route possible while also helping reduce the cost of fuel for flights and thus expanding their capacities,” the ministry said in a press release.

A separate agreement will be signed with the European Aviation Safety Agency to jointly verify the new GPS augmentation system following its development.

KASS will rely on EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System) developed by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor for the European Commission, with the European Space Agency (ESA) as contracting authority. The EGNOS system is operating in Europe since 2009 for Safety of Life services.

South Korea will initially be using KASS to provide aeronautical applications, including Safety of Life services so that it can be used during different flight phases, especially landings. It will eventually extend these services to other applications, including maritime, road and rail.

“Our first export success with this sophisticated and powerful navigation system is the upshot of Thales Alenia Space’s involvement with Europe’s satnav projects since the outset, in 1996,” said Jean Loïc Galle, president and CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “We are drawing on 20 years of experience to help the Korean space agency, and allow government bodies in the country to develop applications that will improve its people’s comfort and safety for all types of transportation.”

Thales Alenia Space’s contract with KARI concerns the supply of the ground infrastructure. It will initially operate via a relay provided by an existing geostationary satellite, and it will be interoperable with other SBAS worldwide, which guarantee air traffic safety when planes move between different zones. KARI and Thales Alenia Space will be applying an approach based on partnership, which means that an integrated French-Korean team will be in charge of the project.

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2 Comments on "South Korea, Thales to develop SBAS for aviation"

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  1. Norman says:

    Quote:
    “By reducing the error and providing more accurate location of aircraft by using satellites, the SBAS is expected to help set the shortest air route possible while also helping reduce the cost of fuel for flights and thus expanding their capacities,” the ministry said in a press release.

    Maybe I’m just nit-picking, but using SBAS is highly unlikely to make any measurable difference to length of flight path or fuel use compared to uncorrected GPS use. What SBAS may do is allow GPS to be used as a primary navigation source, which will confer these benefits compared to traditional radio-navigation methods.

  2. Pablo Haro says:

    Considering the size of the country and the existence of nearby SBAS systems, such as the Japanese MSAS, I believe it would be much more cost-effective to extend the MSAS service area by adding 1 or 2 reference stations in South Korea. It would be of mutual benefit for both countries.

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