ESA sees satellite-based air traffic monitoring on near horizon

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The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded a statement to a US institution to create a exertion demonstrator for a projected craft monitoring strategy utilizing debased Earth orbit satellites.

Spire Global, headquartered successful San Francisco, won nan €16 cardinal ($17.6 million) statement for nan EURIALO project, which intends to beryllium that a satellite-based strategy tin show craft successful formation for aerial postulation guidance purposes, without relying connected immoderate existing systems.

The institution already operates a constellation of nanosatellites that are utilized to observe nan Earth successful existent clip astatine power frequencies, providing information to pass world upwind intelligence, and vessel and level movements, according to Spire.

The EURIALO project intends to show nan viability of utilizing satellites to way craft by determining successful existent clip nan craft position based connected timing nan presence of power signals detected by aggregate satellites, a method known arsenic multilateration. The power signals successful this lawsuit will beryllium modular telecoms power signals already routinely broadcast by aircraft.

Current monitoring systems mostly trust connected self-reported positions of aircraft, which are typically obtained from outer navigation systems. The nonsubjective of EURIALO is to supply a complementary search strategy that tin provender location information to existing aerial navigation work providers for integration into their services.

Ultimately, this could thief way planes successful existent clip from takeoff to landing anyplace successful nan world and could much speedily find craft successful nan arena of an emergency. It isn't clear whether specified a strategy would person helped successful nan infamous lawsuit of Malaysia Airlines formation 370, which went missing successful 2014, arsenic nan aircraft's transponder was apparently switched disconnected mid-flight, arsenic was nan Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS).

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Under nan position of nan contract, Spire will create a creation for an operational outer constellation past deploy and run a demonstrator ngo that proves nan capacity of nan service. It will caput up a consortium of different companies arsenic portion of nan project, including European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP), which was founded by 7 aerial navigation work providers and is based successful Toulouse, France.

"We are honored to beryllium selected by ESA to lead nan improvement of this first-of-its-kind aviation surveillance strategy demonstrator," Spire Global CEO Peter Platzer said successful a statement, adding: "Space-based craft search and geolocation is nan early of aerial postulation guidance to guarantee safe, unafraid and sustainable aerial recreation astatine a world scale."

The task model is portion of ESA's programme of Advanced Research successful Telecommunications Systems (ARTES), and is apparently chiefly funded done nan German Space Agency.

"ESA has a agelong way grounds of supporting companies that usage satellites to amended aviation safety, information and sustainability, ensuring European autonomy and improving nan lives of European citizens by creating jobs and prosperity," said ESA acting head of Connectivity and Secure Communications Javier Benedicto. ®