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Core infrastructure for the Fourth Industrial Revolution era of the satellite navigation system and autonomous drivingThe satellite navigation system that we commonly know as GPS (Global Positioning System) is a system that provides positioning, navigation, and time (PNT) information from satellites. It is widely used for military purposes, requiring a very small built-in receiver in smartphones to use the satellite data regardless of where the user is. Moreover, it can process signals in real time even when the user is on the move. Its use is limitless, such as guiding vehicles and ships and serving as essential infrastructure for people’s daily living for emergency rescue and disaster prediction. Korea relies on US commercial GPS signals with built-in position error of about 10 meters. Therefore, they cannot be used directly for aviation, which requires precision location information, or industrial infrastructures such as autonomous driving due to poor GPS signal quality in Korea with many urban structures and mountainous terrain. Moreover, while everyone can currently use GPS signals, all systems that depend on GPS signals will be paralyzed if GPS is terminated due to signal failure or conflict of interest between countries. A stable, high-precision, high-reliability satellite navigation system is crucial for the 4th Industrial Revolution and future national growth. It should be implemented and operated at the national level. Countries like the United States, Russia, Europe, China, Japan, and India are already operating a satellite navigation system that can provide centimeter-level services. Korea had remained a mere user country of the satellite navigation system until the early 2000s. Recognizing the need for a systematic response to satellite navigation, the Korean government finalized the Master Plan for the Comprehensive Development of the Satellite Navigation System in December 2005, which includes the plan to develop a Korean regional satellite navigation system in the Mid- to Long-term Plan for Space Development announced in December 2013. KARI kicked off the project to develop the Korea Augmentation Satellite (KASS), the precision GPS location augmentation system, sponsored by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport. The project develops the satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS), one of the technologies to reduce the GPS location error to less than 3 meters, to suit Korea’s terrain and environment. Developing the KASS is the first step for the satellite navigation system, and KARI is investing in securing base technologies and training specialized personnel. Moreover, KARI is preparing to kick off the project to develop the Korean Positioning System (KPS) to implement Korea’s independent satellite navigation system, which is considered the core infrastructure for the 4th Industrial Revolution such as autonomous driving.
Delivery of precision location-based visual information service through Korea’s satellite navigation systemA satellite navigation system commonly known as GPS provides the PNT information through satellites. Available everywhere in people’s daily lives, it is regarded as core infrastructure in the 4th Industrial Revolution era such as drones and autonomous driving. For an autonomous vehicle to travel safely without a driver, all objects on the road must secure centimeter-level precise and reliable location information on a unified coordinate system. It is commonly referred to as absolute location information, and the satellite navigation system is the only PNT information system that can provide absolute location information at the source. Korea is also planning to build the KPS by 2035 according to the 3rd Master Plan for Space Development and Promotion. The plan is to build a precise, reliable satellite navigation system that can provide centimeter-level location information to the Korean Peninsula and surrounding areas as Japan and India do, instead of targeting the world as what the United States, Russia, Europe, and China do. It is usually compatible with the US commercial GPS to provide higher-quality service than the present. When GPS use may be restricted during an emergency, the PNT information system can provide PNT information with the satellite navigation system.