The S-band is much more than just an additional frequency resource to existing terrestrial and satellite networks. Its arrival will open a whole new space for telecommunications in Europe, optimized for content delivery and two-way communications for small mobile terminals, including on-board vehicles.
The flexibility and power of the first satellite S-band payload serving Europe onboard of W2A open up a wide range of applications for the general public. But in order to take advantages of this new set of services, the vehicle needs to be equipped by a communication system. We can imagine to have a car that embeds his one communication system while another car use another imcompatible system. But imagine that all these applications are enabled by only one system / standard / platform.
This is the core idea of the SafeTRIP project: To develop a reference system allowing communicating in both directions (forward/return) with “low price” mobile units and to allow third party developpers to implement their services using this unique system. Note that this business model is very common today since it is the same than the GPS navigators or the GSM network (terminal development open to a wide range of manufacturers while the control of the network is kept by a single entity).
example 1: a car has an accident and use the SafeTRIP system to warn the emergency services and to send its GPS/EGNOS/GALILEO position. This system is not dependant of the GSM coverage and thus, work everywere in Europe.
Thanks to this technology, vehicles will become permanently connected everywhere in Europe via a return channels that the SafeTRIP system is able to provide. Your car will automatically pay for your motorway or city toll, while a passenger will be able to book a hotel or a restaurant in a nearby neighbourhood. On the safety side, with automatically or manually activated emergency alerting systems, it will be possible to warn the nearest recovery service or garage in the event of a breakdown. Cars will also represent invaluable sources of information for institutional authorities as well as civil protection and surveillance services. For example, it will be possible to monitor traffic flows by collecting travel speeds, weather conditions or pollution indexes. Drivers and the motor industry in general will be able to benefit in return from this regularly updated data.
example 2: Red cars are detecting a traffic jam on the road 1. This alert is sent to a control center and almost instantaneously broadcasted via satellite to the blue cars, allowing them to change their itinerary.
SafeTRIP will use both satellite technology and complementary ground networks. This combination has a number of unique features that makes it the best suited telecommunication technology for transport systems with intrinsic safety and security characteristics. Today, e-call systems started to improve the safety of European citizen as well as their comfort. But SafeTRIP will be the next step in that direction by ensuring the complete interoperability between spatial and terrestrial networks.
This feature has significant advantages such as:
- Global coverage: with a single geostationary satellite it is possible to provide service on wide areas, such as entire countries or continents. The global coverage is fundamental to achieve truly Pan European services.
- Immediate Full Coverage: while a terrestrial system can take years to be deployed over a significant fraction of the territory, and usually it stops for economic reasons to about 80%, a satellite can provide full coverage of an entire country. Combined with a complementary ground network, it ensures that you can be connected/rescued everywhere in Europe. Additionnaly, it means that a larger users base can immediately access the service, ensuring a better market penetration opportunity.
- Ecologic: the satellite receives its operating power from the sun, through solar panels. To provide the same level of service over a territory, any terrestrial technology would require a large amount of electrical power to feed all transmitters. In addition, the range of services that could be provided (traffic information, fleet management and optimization,...) will reduce significantly the equipped car ecological footprint.
example 3: A road is modified by the authorities. The red car notice that modification and signal this problem. As a consequence, an update of the GNSS map can be broadcasted to the blue cars, allowing them to change their itinerary. Note, that there is no need to unmount the GNSS device from the car and that the cost associated to the map update is low due to the high efficiency of the satellite in the data broadcast.