Seoul . 27 October 2016.  Thales Alenia Space has signed a contract with the South Korean space agency KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute) to supply a satellite navigation system called KASS (Korea Augmentation Satellite System). This project has been strongly supported in particular by the European Commission, the GSA (GNSS Supervisory Authority), the European Space Agency, the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and CNES.

KARI, on behalf of the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), will receive the KASS System relying on EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System) developed by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor for the European Commission, with the European Space Agency (ESA) as contracting authority. The EGNOS system is operating in Europe since 2009 for Safety of Life (SoL) services.

“Our first export success with this sophisticated and powerful navigation system is the upshot of Thales Alenia Space’s involvement with Europe’s satnav projects since the outset, in 1996,” said Jean Loïc Galle, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thales Alenia Space. “We are drawing on 20 years of experience to help the Korean space agency, and allow government bodies in the country to develop applications that will improve its people’s comfort and safety for all types of transportation.”

South Korea will initially be using KASS to provide aeronautical applications, including Safety of Life services so that it can be used during different flight phases, especially landings. It will eventually extend these services to other applications, including maritime, road and rail.

“This contract will contribute to reinforce the trust between Korea Aerospace Research Institute and Thales Alenia Space and to the successful KASS programme. In celebration of 130th anniversary of diplomatic relationship between France and the Republic of Korea, the national relationship between the two countries will be undoubtedly strengthened by co-developing the Korea Augmentation Satellite System (KASS), said Dr. Gi Wook Nam, Director of KASS Programme Office.

Thales Alenia Space’s contract with KARI concerns the supply of the ground l’infrastructure. It will initiallly operate via a relay provided by an existing geostationary satellite, and it will be interoperable with other Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) worldwide, which guarantee air traffic safety when planes move between different zones. KARI and Thales Alenia Space will be applying an approach based on partnership, which means that an integrated French-Korean team will be in charge of the project under Thales Alenia Space’s responsibility.