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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Korea’s KASS satellite navigation system certified by national authorities

The Korea Augmentation Satellite System (KASS) developed by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor has been officially certified by the Korean authorities. Now operational,  this navigation system is the result of a collaboration between Thales Alenia Space — a joint venture  between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%) — and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) for the  Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT). 

Thales Alenia Space’s contract with KARI calls for the delivery of ground infrastructure, which the company  began rolling out in 2020. The KASS system is initially operating via the MEASAT-3d geostationary  satellite, launched in 2022, and will soon be supplemented by KOREASAT 6A which is under development  by Thales Alenia Space for KT SAT Corporation Ltd, the Republic of Korea’s leading satellite communications operator. KOREASAT 6A will carry a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS)  payload designed also by Thales Alenia Space to improve service continuity and operational availability. 

Developed in accordance with the international standards set by the International Civil Aviation  Organization (ICAO), the Korean regional system will initially focus on aircraft applications, especially  Safety of Life services used in flight phases, including landing, to enhance flight safety and efficiency, while  reducing the environmental impact of aviation. It will be interoperable with the world’s other SBAS satellite  navigation systems to guarantee flight safety as planes transition between different zones. 

Implementation of the KASS satellite navigation system marks a significant milestone in our close  collaboration with KARI,” said Hervé Derrey, CEO of Thales Alenia Space. “Together, we’ve charted an  innovative course for optimizing satellite navigation in the Republic of Korea, perfectly illustrating the  synergy of our expertise. With the KASS system, we’re enabling Korean government bodies to develop  applications aimed at improving safety and travel efficiencies for people in various areas of transport.  We’re proud to be playing a central role in the delivery of this system, reflecting our commitment to  innovation and security in satellite navigation.” 

KASS, the second SBAS system developed by Thales Alenia Space, is derived from EGNOS, the  European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System. It is designed to optimize the positioning and  navigation performance of the existing GPS constellation and includes upgrades compatible with the  Galileo and KPS (Korean Positioning System) constellations. It adds value by guaranteeing the integrity,  availability and continuity of services and improving positioning accuracy. KASS will reduce GPS positioning errors to about 1 meter from the current 15 to 33 meters to ensure geolocation accuracy  throughout the country. The Republic of Korea will later extend its services to other applications such as  public safety, road transport, shipping and science. 

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