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SATCOMS Supporting Transport

SATCOMS in Support of Transport on European Roads (SISTER)

The "Satcoms in Support of Transport on European Roads" (SISTER) project was a €10.4 million, three-year-long integrated project co-financed by the European Commission Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry. The aim of the project was to promote the integration of satellite and terrestrial communication with satellite navigation to enable use in a variety of road transport applications.

The project consortium included a number of key players in road transport applications, including ERTICO, Efkon, Navteq, Autoliv Electronics, Volvo Technology, Wireless Car and a number of stakeholders in the satellite communications and navigation communities.

Although satellite communications services will not replace the need for terrestrial services, they can act in a complementary fashion and lead to a better overall solution. Examples include:

  • High-availability applications in which communications coverage must be comprehensive, such as emergency applications;
  • High-reliability applications in which guaranteed quality of service is required, such as dangerous goods tracking;
  • High-capacity applications in which the terrestrial network infrastructure may be too expensive to distribute large volumes of data to many users using point-to-point communications, such as digital maps updating.

The project included three main streams of activity:
  • An assessment of the requirements of intelligent transport applications and the designed potential of solutions involving satellite communications and navigation technologies
  • A practical stream developing an integrated satellite communications transceiver and performance demonstrations of potentially interesting applications
  • A standards activity worked in partnership with committees from the International Standards Organisation (ISO), which developed a satellite component for a new transport communications standard called CALM.