This year’s 20th Ka Conference, held in Vietri, Italy from 1-3 October, drew more than 170 participants from over 20 countries to discuss a range of satellite-related topics, including satellite navigation. The European GNSS Agency (GSA) joined with several presentations.
Many areas of the world are still without affordable communications. The Ka Band Utilization Conference was founded in 1995 with the intention of promoting the use of Ka Band in commercial satellite communications, broadening the available spectrum for users everywhere.
It has largely succeeded. With the Ka Band now firmly established and enabling the deployment of satellites with greater than 100 gigabyte capacity, the Conference is now exploring higher frequencies to permit larger capacity satellites to serve more customers.
In addition to its specific focus on satellite-based communications, the Conference continues to highlight advances being made in other satellite-related fields, including earth observation, deep space exploration, and satellite-based navigation.
The conference featured two full sessions devoted to Galileo applications, both chaired by GSA Head of Market Development Gian Gherardo Calini.
Highlights included Calini’s own presentation on a ‘European EGNSS Value Proposition for Users and Industry’, as well as a talk by Marta Krywanis-Brzostowska, also of the GSA, on ‘How GNSS Can Make Our Mobility Safer and More Efficient: Study Cases of Road and Rail’.
Also Read: European Rail, Supported by European GNSS
Indeed, the transport sectors are making great strides with the help of new GNSS technologies and applications, especially with the introduction of EGNOS, the EU’s satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS).
In his talk on the future of Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT), Marco Lisi of the European Space Agency (ESA) called attention to the important need to consolidate both GNSS- and non-GNSS-based PNT infrastructures: “The answer to this need should come from a consolidation of the GNSS system of systems, pursuing the objectives of compatibility and interoperability among the systems,” he said.
In this respect, Galileo could play a vital role, being the most compatible and interoperable with GPS, and because of its strong service orientation.
Satellite navigation technologies are increasingly common and affordable components in a wide range of innovative applications. By building its own satellite navigation system, Europe is accelerating this trend and inspiring the emergence of innovative applications in various domains.
GSA Market Development Team discussed the rising impact of GNSS on the market, as well as key research gaps. Europe has invested in specific R&D programmes, leading to large portfolio of technologies in order precisely to fill those research gaps.
GNSS is for Real
Finally, in a third session devoted to satellite-based navigation, presenters examined a number of real-word applications, from a safety system for yachts to road vehicle tracking devices and new applications for civil aviation.
Also Read: EGNOS in Aviation
Altogether more than 100 papers were presented at the Ka Band Conference and associated workshops. The special opening session gathered many of the most important Ka-band personalities from the past 20 years.
By building its own satellite navigation system, Europe is inspiring and accelerating the emergence of innovative applications in various domains.
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