Communications and Navigation are areas of central importance for our economy and society. Satellite communication plays a key role in content distribution, primarily television. Satellites are also receiving increasing attention in ensuring broadband internet access as specified in the EU’s digital agenda. Beyond the mass market, satellite communication is crucial in areas where infrastructure is hard to deploy: in the air, at sea, in disaster areas or in military operations. Finally, the associated technologies are essential for communication with earth-observing satellites and deep space probes.
Aeronautical communication needs a new approach – air traffic in Europe will soon be limited by the available radio spectrum. Efficient Air Traffic Management procedures need data-centric, ubiquitously available digital communication that is robust against equipment failures and interference.
Navigation based on radio signals and other electronic sensors plays a crucial role in transportation in improving efficiency and the cost of safety. Furthermore it is the key to increasing the level of automation in transportation, farming, civil engineering and other applications. To this end it must be highly available and reliable. Positional information is also needed in indoor environments.
In this context, the Institute has defined a set of technical missions relevant to industry and society to which it wishes to contribute. They are:
These missions are comprehensively addressed. The contributions range from basic research to proof of concept in demonstrations. The latter ensure proper consideration of real world conditions, increase external visibility, and support the transfer to industry.