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African satellite communication and Galileo applications

Exploitable results

The Afsaga project managed to raise awareness of satellite navigation and communications applications in Southern Africa, while in the same time providing a list of potential applications and the barriers to the development of these applications. A workshop took place on 7 and 8 August 2007 at the Maropeng Centre, near Pretoria in South Africa. This workshop aimed at increasing the awareness of the potential range of applications which can take advantage of EGNOS and Galileo, and in particular those related to combined satellite telecommunication with satellite navigation throughout the Southern African development community region. Indeed, in order to establish the applications required by the identified possible users and user communities, it was necessary to disseminate to these groups the technical capabilities of the EGNOS enhancement to current and future satellite positioning systems such as Galileo. Identification of combined applications After the workshop, a structure view of the applications in the specific context of Southern Africa was established. The following combined navigation and communications applications were proposed: - Organ transplant: Fitting potential organ receiver with personal navigation devices (PNDs) communicating with a central database in order to keep track of their whereabouts should organs become available and communicating messages to them or receiving messages in order to manage the organ transplant process more efficiently. - National parks: Improving the experience of visitors to the national parks by providing them with real-time position tagged information on current attractions in the parks. - Bicycle navigation for the CSIR campus: Optimising the journeys on the CSIR main campus in Pretoria, by fitting bicycles with PNDs to analyse the travel usage and trends of employees. - 2010 FIFA World Cup personal security: Fitting individuals with communication enabled PNDs to establish their movement and advise them on the safety of their movements. - Taxi assistance: Fitting taxis with communication enabled navigation devices to improve the management of the fleets. - Regulation of fisheries: Tracking fishing fleets to monitor activity, but also as an incentive for providing fishing vessels with updated information on the whereabouts of fishing grounds. - Automated census: Assistance in census taking with intelligent electronic form on a GPS enabled smartphone. This will also allow for the central database to be updated in real-time with position information. - Road surface monitoring: Using vibration analysis coupled to GPS and communication to central database, allowing making of map with road surface quality indication. - Road accidents reduction: The example of the Molotov road stretching from the Limpopo through Mpumalanga to Gauteng provinces of South Africa being a high accident zone as a pilot project road was suggested. - Fenceless livestock: Selected animals in a herd fitted with tracking devices would help keeping track of these animals and raise alarms when they approach roads. There is already commercial devices of this nature available used by farmers on very large farms to keep track of their livestock.%l - Overloading control: Measuring dynamic performance of vehicle to determine load. This would give a better picture of road use as there is only a limited number of load bridges in South Africa with little information of what happens with heavy vehicle loading between these.%l - Ride matching/Car sharing: Bringing together people wanting to share transport cost and effort for journeys, both long and short. - General tracking of animals/pets: Depending on the size of the animal, minimal possible size of the tracking device, area of deployment and duration of the required tracking, animals could be tracked in real-time with high accuracy using this technology. - Bird life Africa: Depending on practicality, tracking of birds could provide interesting secondary information, especially given that the tracking of birds have recently been linked to climate change. Barriers to development of these applications The workshop and the discussion with regional key stakeholders showed that there are many barriers to the development of the combined navigation and communications applications in Southern Africa, like the ones mentioned above. The identified barriers are: - Regulation: different telecom regulations within and among the SADC countries curbs the deployment of the applications (monopoly, duopoly, partially liberalised, fully liberalised). - Availability: some telecom infrastructure, such as the GSM network, have not yet been deployed everywhere in SADC because they are not economically viable. - Lack of knowledge and infrastructure: some early infrastructure is needed in order to trigger knowledge of what is feasible with this infrastructure. - Costs: the cost of end-user terminals required for wide implementation is still too high (both acquisition cost and operating cost). - Data sharing: the regulation for sharing information among the SADC countries can constraint the development of the applications. The lack of infrastructure, and de facto the lack of knowledge, are the main showstoppers to the development of Satnav and Satcom applications. By putting in place an early system allowing first navigation applications, awareness of this technology will increase, and the market will start developing itself (virtuous circle). Consequently, regulation barriers of to development will fall, due to the governments seeing the real opportunities for their economy. Availability will automatically increase, as telecom providers will see the business case for such a technological deployment. Thanks to economies of scale, the costs of navigation receivers, be it GPS/Galileo receivers only or combined cellular/GPS/Galileo, will reach acceptable levels. Road map to the development of combined applications In order to remove the barriers to development and foster combined navigation and communications applications, the following 4-stage roadmap is proposed: - Step 1: Early Galileo service over SADC Deployment of an early system using an already existing infrastructure (e.g. TrigNet GPS monitoring stations), with broadcast of the GPS augmentation system done via Internet or the GSM network. - Step 2 : Pre-operational early Galileo service Wider deployment of GPS ground monitoring stations and use of a satellite (with a navigation payload) to broadcast the augmentation signal. - Step 3 : Early Galileo safety-of-life service (SOL) Redundancy of all ground infrastructure and second additional satellite to broadcast the augmentation signal. This would allow the use of the system for safety-critical applications, such as in air traffic management. - Step 4 : Multi-constellation Regional Segment (MRS) Full use of EGNOS through Galileo and the multi-constellation regional segment (GPS and Glonass and Galileo).