ESA engineers are proposing a technique to enable a digital satellite radio service for European drivers - without the need to launch a single new satellite into orbit.
Commercial digital satellite radio is already a reality in the United States, using a costly set of dedicated satellites. The rival American services allow subscribing drivers to choose between numerous near-CD quality radio channels without tune-out or static.
Two parallel ESA studies have examined a lower-cost method of providing in-car Europe-wide satellite radio, along with supplemental text, pictures and video data. ND Satcom (prime contractor), DLR, IMST and SES Astra conducted one of the studies while Alcatel Space (prime contractor), Frauenhofer Gesellschaft, Skygate and SES Astra performed the other.
"This service would include music and voice data," said ESA engineer Rolv Midthassel from the Technology Projects Division of the Telecommunication Department. "Plus additional data could be displayed on-screen such as information on songs, traffic and weather forecasts, and other services dedicated to car drivers."
Dominique Detain | alfa
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