Objectives of the service
The project, which is part of ESA's "Newcomers" initiative of the ARTES 3-4 Programme, is aimed at developing, integrating and validating a set of mobile applications onboard of vehicles such as cars, coaches and trucks, using the S-Band delivery platform of Solaris on the Eutelsat W2A satellite.
The mobile applications will allow the reception of geo-localised contents such as traffic information, weather alerts, route planning and tourism related content, in association with specific news broadcasting.
The set of applications will be complemented by an Automatic Carbon Footprint Calculator to assess the environmental impact of the journey of the vehicle.
The objectives of the project are:
Provide real-time content to mobile users through an efficient delivery mechanism;
Stimulate a new market for mobile applications;
Integrate different technologies in an end-to-end demonstrator which is as close as possible to an operational service;
Develop a portfolio of enhanced mobile services.
The expected benefits brought by the project are:
- Enhanced mobile services;
- New communications infrastructure able to serve vehicular broadcasting over a wide European coverage;
- Economy of scale thanks to the satcom enabled broadcasting;
- Easy integration of the set of applications with existing mobile handsets.
Third party Applications Programme Interfaces (API’s) along with third party real time data content and information will be integrated into the i-enquire Server.
Information is backed up, sent and logs of all activity are kept. The i-enquire system is hosted on a blade type server with connections to Solaris Service Delivery Platforms through the IP backbone.
The i-enquire system will be potentially open via its API’s to Content Providers interested in exploiting the Solaris S-Band broadcasting technology.
Content is sent through the S-Band channel to mobile receivers using the FLUTE protocol in order to guarantee the delivery of content in a one-way communication channel.
Data sent by the i-enquire server via the Solaris broadcasting channel are stored in S-Band receivers, and then accessed by end users using the in-vehicle local WiFi access.
Overall System Architecture
The following issues will be tackled during the project development activities:
- Development of applications making use of geo-localised content,
- Integration of the i-enquire applications platform with the Solaris delivery platform,
- Provide navigation instructions in a mono-directional communication environment,
- Conditional Access System.
Phase 1 of the project has been successfully completed with the acceptance of the design documents and of the commercial feasibility analysis.
Phase 2 was successfully completed with the development of the applications integrated into the Solaris Mobile delivery platform at one end, and in the Quantum S-Band receivers on the other end.
All applications were tested and validated in the laboratory, in Dublin on 19 July, 2012. Then, they were tested and validated in field, in Noordwijk, on 25 July, 2012.