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Satnews Daily
October 26th, 2016

Heightening South Korea's Satellite System Will Be Thales Alenia Space

KASS, the Korea Augmentation Satellite System, will be supplied to the South Korean space agency KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute) by Thales Alenia Space.

KARI, on behalf of the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), will receive the KASS System that relies on EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System), which was developed by Thales Alenia Space as the prime contractor for the European Commission, with the European Space Agency (ESA) as contracting authority. The EGNOS system has been operating in Europe since 2009 for Safety of Life (SoL) services.

Jean Loïc Galle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space (left) and Dr. Gi Wook Nam, Director of KASS Program Office, at the contract signing.

The Korean regional system KASS will enhance the positioning performance provided by the current GPS satellite navigation system and will also address Glonass and Galileo in the future. KASS will add value by ensuring the integrity, availability and guaranteed continuity of services, while also improving positioning accuracy to within a meter. 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.

Thales Alenia Space’s contract with KARI concerns the supply of the ground infrastructure and will initially operate via a relay provided by an existing geostationary satellite—the system will be interoperable with other Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (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 under Thales Alenia Space’s responsibility.

According to Jean Loïc Galle, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space, his company's first export success with this sophisticated and powerful navigation system is the upshot of Thales Alenia Space’s involvement with Europe’s satellite navigation projects since 1996, drawing on 20 years of experience to help the Korean space agency, allowing government bodies in the country to develop applications that will improve its people’s comfort and safety for all types of transportation.