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Invitation to tender for space-based services for winter road maintenance feasibility study

Invitation to tender is now open

The objective of the feasibility study is to determine the technical feasibility and economic viability of a space based service supporting winter road maintenance, making use of satellite based precision navigation and earth observation data.  Interest invited until 29th July 2013.  If you would like to see the full info or have any questions about this, please contact Tim Just at the Technlogy Strategy Board

The issues

Roads are an important part of every country's infrastructure and much effort is done to maintain roads and keep them open throughout the year. In regions with strong and long winters, clearing roads from snow quickly and efficiently is one of the challenges and is the focus of the proposed feasibility study.  

Often the driver of a snow plough vehicle only has his own eyes to rely on. When lots of snow has fallen, or in large open areas with drifting snow, the road may be completely covered and finding it can be very difficult. Another problem is that the snow plough may hit obstacles along the road, for example road signs or guardrails. Use of earth observation data and precision navigation should help the driver follow pre-defined trajectories and avoid obstacles.

Spreading the optimal amounts of salt or abrasives and on the right places is also a challenge. This may be done more accurately using satellite navigation in combination with road data bases and meteorological data. Key will be to find a suitable trade-off between cost and sophistication, taking market demands into account.  Also a suitable model for service provisioning needs to be determined.

User communities

The user communities include national transport administrations, which are ultimately responsible for the road maintenance, and may also include organisations active in snow ploughing and similar activities.

For more information, please view the ESA website.

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