Institut für Automatisierungstechnik

ASTRON - Synergy of Satellite Telecommunications, LEO and Navigation - Transport Applications

Study Duration: January 2000 - July 2000

Study Team:

  • TUD, Technische Universität Dresden, D ( Prime Contractor),
  • DLR, Institut für Fernerkundung, Oberpfaffenhofen, D ( Subcontractor),
  • ARS Transport & Technology. Den Haag, NL ( Subcontractor).


Print: pdf-File
   23 K
1. Scope

ASTRON is a project of the Space Application Institute of the European Commission for the 5th Framework Programme (1999 - 2002). It investigates the synergy of satellite based Earth Observation, Telecommunications and Navigation in order to improve the benefits from the use of space technologies and services in Europe by their integration within emerging digital interactive services.

The current study gives a synoptic view of the market segment "Transport Applications" in the areas road, rail, maritime and air. The study results are anticipated to provide

  • identification and description of the most critical issues, major developments and trends on Integrated Satellite Derived Information Services,
  • identification of key application areas for the synergy of Satellite Telecommunications, Earth Observation and Navigation,
  • in ? depth analysis of most promising key applications.
2. Transport Telematics

Telematics in general means the integration of information and telecommunication technology to allow all kinds of remote operation of spatially distributed systems (e.g. automation, medicine, teaching). Transport Telematics in particular aims to provide new intelligent and added-value services for mobile clients who are in charge of transporting people or goods on roads, rail, water and air.
In this context it is quite obvious to look for satellite based technologies as promising candidates for transport telematic applications due to their global acting properties, which fit ideally to the inherent spatially distributed nature of transport systems.
Satellite Navigation (NAV) and Telecommunication (COM) provide the efficient backbone for autonomous localisation and information transmission to/from the mobile clients. Satellite Earth Observation (EO) is able to provide complementary information on and for transport clients through real-time image data and image based added-value products (e.g. digital maps).

3. Set of Candidate ASTRON Applications

Among 48 transport telematic applications a set of 20 candidate applications has been found which fits in the scope of ASTRON, i.e. all three functions NAV, COM and EO must be used, with at least two of them being satellite based. The transport areas are comprising land (road, rail), marine and air as well as intermodal applications. To find out which ASTRON applications will have the most promising market perspectives, a selection process has been performed based on quantitative and qualitative selection criteria, which resulted in a weighted ranking of the candidate applications. Five of these most promising candidates have been selected finally by the ASTRON project management as key applications for a further detailed analysis as mini-business cases.

4. Summary of Mini Business Cases (Key Applications)

Dynamic Route Guidance (Road)

Dynamic route guidance systems offer enhanced services for guiding car drivers to their destinations through customized travel information which is based on real-time road traffic monitoring (Floating Car Data, real-time EO) of public roads (highways, secondary roads). These systems allow an improved use of existing road infrastructure and reduces considerably the economic losses due to traffic jams.

Dynamic Route Guidance (Road)
   328 K

Law Enforcement - Professional Drivers (Road)

Satellite based law enforcement systems offer new services for a continuous wide-area monitoring of the behaviour of professional drivers (trucks, busses, dangerous goods) and reports severe violations. The largest benefit is, however, not expected in monitoring but in avoiding violations and thus those systems contribute considerably to the enhancement of passive safety on the road.

Law Enforcement - Professional Drivers (Road)
   301 K

Rail Driving Management

Integrated rail driving management systems can use ASTRON technology to build complementary overlay systems for safety-related services, e.g. signalling and control and thus to increase the overall system integrity. Non safety-related services are seen in the field of transport logistics and trajectory optimisation. Benefits are seen in a more effective use of existing infrastructure, a better quality of service and operation and a reduction of infrastructure and operation costs.

Rail Driving Management
   334 K

Private Flight Air Safety under Visual Flight Rules

Advanced pilot assistance systems for non-professional General Aviation pilots under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) can use ASTRON technology to provide improved weather information for the route ahead, better knowledge of the own and adjacent aircraft?s position and better knowledge of underneath terrain profile and dangerous features in case of low altitude flight due to bad weather conditions.

Private Flight Air Safety under Visual Flight Rules
   441 K

Maritime Monitoring

Satellite-based maritime monitoring systems offer enhanced permanent services for operators of ships for cargo and passenger transport through a better a-priori knowledge of the sea state and the en-route environment, including the position of adjacent vessels. Additional services can be offered to law enforcement authorities (coast guard or similar) for the remote monitoring of suspicious vessels.

Maritime Monitoring
   401 K
5. Conclusions

The analysis of the business cases allows the following conclusions:

  • A high degree of commonality between system components for the different applications is found, leading to two interesting perspectives:
    • system pay-off could be shared by different applications, if the system infrastructure is designed for multi-use,
    • a lot of innovative and today not known applications could be developed, once the infrastructure is existent (in a similar way to the GPS related business success story in the last decade).
  • Galileo Controlled Access Service may serve as navigation backbone for all applications,
  • Communication should be based on shared terrestrial and satellite systems, with satellite communication as unique technology for remote areas,
  • Satellite Earth Observation has unique advantages (cost-benefit ratio), if the business scope is enlarged to transnational markets,
  • Enhanced Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology is needed for guaranteed levels of service independent of weather and illumination conditions,
  • Market potential of the key applications is expected to be high, if the services are innovative and offer added values.
6. Final Presentation
Final Presentation
   1.0 M
Stand: 01.09.2006 16:08
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