Magazine Lietišķā Diena: View in the future. Own satellite into space for every university
An article published in a magazine Lietišķā Diena on March 21, 2012.
Every self-respected European university already after ten years will try to launch its own cube-like satellite but majority individuals will have a part of space technologies in their mobile phones – says Chairman of the Board of the Ventspils High Technology Park Ivars Eglājs.
70 % OF PHONES WITH GPS
When looking in a perspective of ten years it is clear that every man will have a part of space technologies in his or her mobile phone – in this case GPS and Galileo receivers. If currently a GPS receiver is integrated in about 20 % of the new phones worldwide then after 10 years at least 70 % of phones will have such opportunities. This results in rather numerous consequences. One of them – any man having such phone will be able to use location-based services, paying for them either a separate charge or the one included in a subscriber fee.
GALILEO SATELLITE SYSTEM
An interesting turn in the perspective could be development of the European Galileo satellite system, its launch and operation. It is planned that the first 18 satellites providing population with particular services are going to be launched already from year 2014 but in full all 30 satellites – by year 2019. Currently without additional solutions accuracy of an American GPS system is 3 to 5 meters, and using GPS base stations and collected data this accuracy can be reached in a surveying even up to 5 millimeters. But in case one wants to get all the necessary data in actual time, the Galileo system could be as additional plus because it in principle will provide location accuracy of one meter for any device.
20 THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A KILOGRAM
Talking about producion segment, chance to produce parts or components for rockets or satellites, it must be said that there are several segments that can be counted as trend-growing. For instance, production of small cube-like satellites. Currently the satellites in the world are big enough – as in the sixties of the last century when computers took up almost entire room but then got smaller and smaller – also space technologies, satellites will become smaller and smaller-sized. The smaller a satellite will be the lower will be the cost for its carrying into space. It must be said that prices in this field are high enough – USD 20 thousands per kilogram. Therefore every satellite being able to do the same as the big one but weighting less will be worth to get carried into space. It is supposed that after 10 years every self-respected European university will try to launch its own small cube-like satellite.
APPLICATION MARKET WILL DEVELOP
Along with integration of the GPS modules in different devices the volume of GPS devices sold separately will reduce as population will have no need to purchase them. GPS modules will be integrated in cars and even in agricultural machinery. Thus a market of different applications will develop. And Latvia can see the potential exactly in a sector of such application selling within the nearest ten years – namely in relation to development of different location-based services applications. It’s about games, telenavigation, accurate agriculture, car driver assistance systems and many other things.
WE MUST JOIN THE SPACE AGENCY
It must be said that Latvia still is not the member state of the European Space Agency. However if we would join it thus becoming a full-scale member state from 2017 or 2018, the big European space technology order market would be open for us therefore becoming a big gain for Latvian enterprises, scientific institutes, and universities by giving a greater stimulus to those institutions that produce any parts useful for these technologies. While it has not happened bigger stress in Latvia should be put on service field using space data.
Usually people by space sector understand rocket production and satellites launch into orbit. The abovementioned direction constitutes only approximately 30 % of entire space technology field in the world. More and more space technologies are and will be used in provision of satellite services. Here we can talk about map making, setting locations, wood cutting area surveillance, sea monitoring. If we will be able to talk about Latvian space sector in general, a fact that it will mainly be made of well-know satellite television, location-based services, data use in maps, environment monitoring, and similar things must be taken into account, and besides the use of space data will be become more explicit day-to-day part.
Author of the interview: A.Vaivars
Issue: Lietišķā Diena
Rubric: View in the future