Thales Alenia Space wins contract for South Korean Augmentation Satellite System (KASS) with KARI

Seoul, October 26, 2016 –  Thales Alenia Space announced today that it 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 (European GNSS Agency), 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.
The Korean regional system KASS will enhance the positioning performance provided by the current satellite navigation system GPS and with evolution for the future ones Glonass and Galileo. KASS will add value by ensuring the integrity, availiability and guaranteed continuity of services, while also improving positioning accuracy to within a meter.
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.
“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.”
“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).” – 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.

About Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space brings over 40 years of experience to the design, integration, testing and operation of innovative space systems for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo-Finmeccanica (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ “Space Alliance”, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space has built up unrivaled expertise in dual (civil-military) missions, constellations, flexible high-throughput payloads, altimetry, meteorology, and high-resolution radar and optical observation, as well as space exploration. The company capitalizes on its strong legacy, while also making innovation a key to its strategy. By offering a continuous stream of new products and expanding its global footprint, Thales Alenia Space has established its leadership in today’s fast-evolving space sector. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues exceeding 2.1 billion euros in 2015 and has 7,500 employees in nine countries.

About Thales

Thales is a global technology leader for the aerospace, transport, defence and security markets. With 62,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of €14 billion in 2015. With over 22,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design and deploy equipment, systems and services to meet the most complex security requirements. Its exceptional international footprint allows it to work closely with its customers all over the world.

About Thales in the Republic of Korea
Thales has been present in the Republic of Korea for over thirty years in the defence, transport, security, aerospace and space domains. Today, the Group’s main office in the country is located in Seoul, and thirty people are currently working throughout the Nation. In Korea, Thales is present in the civil domains providing various solutions for air traffic management, ground transportation, In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity and telecom satellites. The Group is a long-term provider of defence solutions for the Korean Defence Forces, with an extensive influence in both naval sensors and air defence. Thales is also a key player in the military space domain (communication and observation capabilities).

About KARI
The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) was established in 1989 as a national research institution so that the country can emerge as an aerospace powerhouse in the 21st century and play a central role in the aerospace area. Ever since its inception, KARI has achieved significant accomplishments, through the development of multi-purpose satellites, the launch of Korea’s 1st space vehicle ‘Naro’, the creation of the NARO Space Center, as well as the establishment of aviation technology through the Korean Helicopter Program and Smart UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). In the future, KARI plans to build up indigenous capabilities to strengthen national safety and public service, industrialize satellite information and applications technology, explore the moon, and develop environmentally-friendly and highly-efficient cutting-edge aircraft and core aerospace technology so as to fulfill the aspirations and values that Korea holds toward space and beyond.

Thales Alenia Space Press Contacts:

Sandrine Bielecki            
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 70 94     
Chrystelle Dugimont     
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 92 74 06     

Feel free to
download the files

Sandrine Bielecki
+33 (0)4 92 92 70 94
See the list of our contacts