South Korea Boosts Navigation Precision with New KASS System

In a noteworthy advancement in satellite navigation, South Korea has officially commenced operations of its Korean Augmentation Satellite System (KASS), a product of the collaboration between Thales Alenia Space and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), under the oversight of the country’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT). KASS is designed to refine the accuracy of GPS within the nation to approximately one meter, a significant improvement from the current 15 to 33 meters, thereby enhancing geolocation precision across the country.

The system, which adheres to international standards by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), initially aims to elevate aircraft navigation safety, particularly for landing procedures, consequently improving flight efficiency and reducing aviation’s environmental impact. KASS is set to be compatible with other leading satellite navigation systems worldwide, ensuring safe flight transitions across borders.

The implementation involved the deployment of ground infrastructure starting in 2020 and is getting its initial signal boost via the MEASAT-3d satellite, launched in 2022. It is set to amplify with the future addition of KOREASAT 6A, which will incorporate Thales Alenia Space’s specially designed satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) payload.

KASS follows the path of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS), the second such system to be developed by Thales Alenia Space, but it is geared up with enhancements compatible with both the Galileo and the Korean Positioning System (KPS) constellations. Promising improved integrity, availability, and continuity of services, KASS indicates the potential to later widen its applications to public safety, road transport, and maritime activities.

Summarizing the initiative, Thales Alenia Space’s CEO articulated the joint successful effort with KARI in constructing a system aimed at optimizing satellite navigation in South Korea. They highlighted the impact this system will have on developing safety and efficiency-focused applications for various modes of transportation.

FAQs about the Korean Augmentation Satellite System (KASS)

Q: What is the KASS?
A: The Korean Augmentation Satellite System (KASS) is a satellite-based navigation system developed to enhance the accuracy of GPS in South Korea to approximately one meter, compared to the previous 15 to 33 meters.

Q: Who is responsible for the development of KASS?
A: KASS is a collaborative effort between Thales Alenia Space and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), supervised by South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT).

Q: What is the initial focus of KASS?
A: The system initially focuses on improving aircraft navigation safety, especially for landing procedures, aiming to enhance flight efficiency and reduce aviation’s environmental impact.

Q: What international standards does KASS adhere to?
A: KASS meets international standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Q: Can KASS work with other global satellite navigation systems?
A: Yes, KASS is designed to be compatible with other leading satellite navigation systems to ensure safe flight transitions across borders.

Q: When did the deployment of KASS begin and which satellite provides the initial signal?
A: The deployment of ground infrastructure for KASS began in 2020, and the initial signal is boosted via the MEASAT-3d satellite, launched in 2022.

Q: Is there an upcoming addition to the KASS infrastructure?
A: Yes, the KASS will be further amplified with the addition of the KOREASAT 6A satellite, incorporating a specialized SBAS payload by Thales Alenia Space.

Q: How does KASS compare to the EGNOS?
A: KASS is akin to the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS) but includes enhancements to be compatible with the Galileo and the Korean Positioning System (KPS) constellations.

Q: What are the potential future applications of KASS?
A: Aside from aviation, KASS has the potential to extend its applications to public safety, road transport, and maritime activities, promising improved integrity, availability, and continuity of services.

Key Terms:
GPS: Global Positioning System, a satellite-based navigation system that allows land, sea, and airborne users to determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world.
SBAS: Satellite-based Augmentation System, designed to supplement primary satellite navigation systems, increasing accuracy and reliability.
ICAO: International Civil Aviation Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations charged with coordinating and regulating international air travel.
Integrity: The trustworthiness of a navigation system; its ability to provide a threshold of confidence and to alert the user within a specified time when it should not be used for navigation.

Suggested Related Links:
International Civil Aviation Organization
Thales Group
Korea Aerospace Research Institute
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport