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Korea's satnav system certified by national authorities and enters operational service
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Korea's satnav system certified by national authorities and enters operational service
by Erica Marchand
Paris, France (SPX) Feb 06, 2024

The Korea Augmentation Satellite System (KASS), a pivotal development in satellite navigation technology, has officially commenced operations following certification by Korean authorities. This marks a significant achievement in the collaborative effort between Thales Alenia Space, acting as the prime contractor, and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) under the aegis of the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT).

KASS, leveraging the MEASAT-3d geostationary satellite launched in 2022, is poised to enhance the precision of GPS services across South Korea. This initial operation will soon be bolstered by the addition of KOREASAT 6A, currently under development by Thales Alenia Space for KT SAT Corporation Ltd., the nation's premier satellite communications operator. This upcoming satellite will carry a payload specifically designed to augment service continuity and operational availability.

This system, aligning with international standards set forth by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), primarily focuses on aviation applications, particularly those critical to flight safety such as landing operations. By enhancing flight safety and efficiency, KASS not only aims to mitigate the environmental footprint of aviation but also to ensure seamless interoperability with global SBAS satellite navigation systems, facilitating smooth transitions for aircraft moving between different airspaces.

Herve Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space, highlighted the significance of the KASS system, stating, "Implementation of the KASS satellite navigation system marks a significant milestone in our close collaboration with KARI. Together, we've charted an innovative course for optimizing satellite navigation in the Republic of Korea, perfectly illustrating the synergy of our expertise. With the KASS system, we're enabling Korean government bodies to develop applications aimed at improving safety and travel efficiencies for people in various areas of transport. We're proud to be playing a central role in the delivery of this system, reflecting our commitment to innovation and security in satellite navigation."

KASS stands as the second SBAS system developed by Thales Alenia Space, following the blueprint of EGNOS, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System. It is meticulously engineered to augment the positioning and navigation performance of the existing GPS constellation, with future-proof upgrades compatible with the Galileo and KPS (Korean Positioning System) constellations.

By ensuring the integrity, availability, and continuity of services, KASS significantly enhances positioning accuracy, narrowing GPS positioning errors to approximately 1 meter from the current range of 15 to 33 meters. This leap in geolocation precision will serve a wide array of applications, extending beyond aviation to public safety, road transport, maritime activities, and scientific endeavors.

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