Ashweeni Beeharee from Satellite Applications Catapult gives a short introduction on what we can expect form the topic on Space technologies.

The space technologies topic at the 2016 European Congress builds up on the success of the topic in Bordeaux.

For too long, satellite positioning has been the only technology extensively discussed and used by the ITS community. There are other very significant space technologies – communications and earth observation. In Glasgow, the focus is on new services enabled through the use of all space technologies – either in their own right or more importantly in conjunction with complementary terrestrial technologies.

Hybridisation of space and terrestrial technology brings immense benefits in terms of reliability and resilience of ITS services. In fact, the roadmap for 5G refers to the seamless integration of satellite and cellular communication. Europe has got unique competitive advantage and strength in the space sector with several satellite manufactures, operators and agencies. By engaging the space and ITS community, there are several mutual benefits to be realised.

An innovation in USA which has been on the news this year is the realisation and ongoing field trial of an innovative flat vehicular satellite antenna solution – embedded in the car’s roof – enabling high speed connectivity on the move. Such is the level of innovation that needs to be driven through collaboration between the ITS and space sectors.

The continuation of the topic in Glasgow demonstrates the commitment and maturity of thought by the ITS community in Europe towards innovation and inclusion of the space sectors into the ITS world. This is a significant step – and aligns with the ‘out of box’ thinking required to address the challenges faced by regions such as Scotland, Australia and Canada for cost effective and successful ITS deployment.

What can attendees expect from this topic?

In one word – ‘Demystification’. The congress will be a unique – and perhaps the only opportunity this year – to understand space technologies presented in an ITS friendly language – devoid of space jargons.

Attendees can expect to learn about current state of the space technologies and how accessible it is – both in terms of cost and technology. Many in the ITS community have come across space technologies either in the distant past or through R&D projects – these are not representative of the large array of available space solutions. For instance, the cost of sending and receiving a short SMS like message over satellite costs only a few cents. Attendees will learn about the commercial use of space solutions in ITS around the world.

Starting with the Executive Session, leading organisations will introduce various aspects of the space technologies and present the ongoing innovation in the sector to produce solutions fit for use in the ITS sector. Using such technology will give ITS businesses the competitive edge and a global reach – as after all space technology is global and not constrained to geography or subject to roaming costs. Equally savings can be achieved on deployment of new terrestrial infrastructure by using existing space assets. The SIS sessions on ITS connectivity and positioning will emphasise on the innovation achievable through hybrid use of space and terrestrial technologies. For instance the SIS33 covers cutting edge and ongoing work in the areas of short-range communication (LTE-V) as well 4G, 5G and satellite communications. Technical sessions will cover all aspects of space – including sensing for environmental monitoring, mapping, etc.

The demonstration area of the congress will present the use of space communication technologies in a variety of use cases for ITS. This will be a great opportunity to see the solutions at work and speak to the experts in the area.

If the space community interested in ITS or in exploring new markets for space technologies should come to Glasgow to engage with the ITS community and support the work being undertaken to make space more accessible.

Find out more about the topics we will discuss in Glasgow or have a look at the preliminary programe!


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