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At the upcoming SAT Expo 2003 trade fair in Vicenza Italy from 2 to 4 October, representatives from ESA Telecom and participating companies will be presenting a wide range of live demos, projects and advanced applications. Topics as diverse as Media Space to Galileo will be presented and satellite UMTS will make its debut.From the Galileo project to interactive TV, bridging the digital divide to the most highly advanced satellite communications projects. Anyone who thought the European Space Agency (ESA) was only involved in complex scientific projects and space exploration is way off the mark. Acting as both promoter and financial backer, ESA is working on a number of projects that closely affect daily life and business.
|Visitors to SAT Expo 2003 will get a sneak preview of 'Satellite UMTS' a project that involves the Italian companies Space Engineering, Telespazio and state broadcaster RAI. The general public knows of UMTS as the 'third-generation mobile phone standard', a framework for powerful multimedia applications.|
ESA Telecom is currently conducting experiments into the possibility of delivering UMTS services by satellite (in this case Artemis over the L-band). All that will be needed is a car equipped with a satellite receiver to access media content while moving in even the remotest areas.
This will be ESA Telecom's first appearance at SAT Expo. A series of live demonstrations will be showcased, including examples of live streaming, videoconferencing, content distribution and collaborative environments. These applications will be made possible with Media Space, a project that aims to provide non-profit organisations with a panel of multimedia communication services through worldwide infrastructure comprising terrestrial and satellite networks.
ESA's projects include those dedicated entirely to the consumer market. An example is Satmode, a new system for interactive TV by satellite currently under development. Existing digital television systems (cable, terrestrial or satellite) rely on a telephone connection as a return channel. Satmode aims to provide a low-cost alternative.
Similarly, the DiSav project allows the creation of a communication network for video advertising.
The Real Time Immersive TV Show project is also consumer oriented. It aims to enhance the viewing pleasure of users by allowing them to participate in game shows from the comfort of their homes.
Tele-medicine and E-learning are two extremely important applications within ESA Telecom. The I-Discare project has contributed greatly to the realization of medical care centres in remote regions, often after disasters. SKYMED is proving to be instrumental in interactive distance learning.
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Using satellites as the main instrument for bridging the digital divide is a theme that will receive special attention at SAT Expo 2003. The South West Broadband Initiative is a project that is doing just that, bringing broadband to rural areas of Ireland. The highly successful Sat@once project, which at last count had over 50,000 users is another example of this theme.
Satellite technology is decisive for the development of communications in countries and areas where broadband (ADSL or fibre) is lacking. New satellite applications will one day be decisive in the progress for eastern European countries as they approach European Union membership.
Lastly is Galileo, a major project to launch a constellation of 30 satellites for a civilian navigation system. Scheduled for inauguration in 2008, the system will provide an alternative to the non-civilian US controlled GPS.
The conference sponsored by ESA will highlight the business opportunities that will be created for small to medium-sized enterprises. SAT Expo takes place from 2 to 4 October in Vicenza, Italy.
The ESA Telecom stand is located at A8-12 in Pavilion F.