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Launch of the MAIA feasibility study on Mobile Alert InformAtion system using satellites


MAIA : Mobile Alert InformAtion system using satellites

The Mobile Alert InformAtion system using satellites (MAIA) project is a Feasibility Study of a Satellite-based Alarm System aiming at ensuring alert and information dissemination in case of emergencies/disaster.

The study focuses on the identification of Actors, collection/analysis of requirements, mission requirements, system design, commercial/business evaluations and promotion of the defined system.

From a technical perspective, the study will propose the best compromise after analysis of the possible solutions for:
  • Overall communication architecture (e.g. time of action : before, during and/or after ; one or two-way communication with population, …)
  • Ground communication means (i.e. in particular mobile phones, although other means will be considered like TV, radio, …)
  • Message content (including geofencing information defining the concerned geographic region) and communication frequencies/protocols
  • (smooth) Implementation within mobile phones and satellite (payload)
  • Optimal and possible constellations in Low-, Medium- and/or Geostationnary- Earth Orbits, (LEO, MEO and/or GEO)
  • Satellite payload concepts

The activity will thus cover all aspects (technical but also operational and commercial) to be considered for assessing the concepts and respective feasibility of a Mobile Alert InformAtion system using satellites allowing efficient communications from authorities/organisations to Citizens during emergencies.

The present webpage is intended as a repository of all information related to the MAIA System, and is planned to be updated regularly during the project lifecycle. The content of this page is the following (click on the bold title to access relative section on this page):
  • Programmatics : defining the project Partners and main Schedule
  • Preliminary System Architecture : giving a schematic and setting the wording of the various elements of the system
  • Users and Requirements : identifying the MAIA Users and their requirements

The MAIA Project : Partners and Schedule

The MAIA Project started in June 2008 and will last for slightly more than one year.
The proposed activities will be performed by the following team consisting of of Industrials, Consultants and Researchers:

Entity Nationality Website
LuxSpace (as Prime) Luxembourg
DLR Germany
Com Dev Canada
M-PLIFY Luxembourg
DKE Aerospace Switzerland

Preliminary System Architecture

MAIA aims at ensuring alert and information dissemination in case of emergencies/disaster.
Two types of links could be considered:
  1. Forward links, going from the Alarm Centre of the (national, regional, local) Civil Protection Agency, through the satellite(s), to the endangered Users located in the identified and geofenced critical (coverage) area.
  2. Reverse links (these were originally proposed, but it is understood today that they are not required by Civil Protection Agencies), going back from the endangered Users located in the identified critical (coverage) area, through the satellite(s), to the Alarm Centre of the (national, regional, local) Civil Protection Agency.
For both types of links, Users located in the coverage area (to be defined by the Civil Protection Agency, based on type and strength of the considered emergency/disaster) would receive the emergency communications thanks to mobile devices like e.g.  cellular phones(slightly modified), satellite FM radios (in cars), ...

Users and Requirements

The User Requirements collected during Summer 2008 from the various European (also Canada) Civil Protection Agencies have been analysed. The resulting User Requirement Specifications have been consolidated with Representatives from European Civil Protection Agencies during the Preliminary Requirement Review (PRR) held in Paris, at ESA Headquarters on 16th of April 2009.
The PRR was considered as a success,
Thank you to all Contributors and Attendees !

 The reviewed information will now lead to the update/complement of the System Requirements Specification, defining the technical and operational requirements applicable to the MAIA alerting system.
Also, considering the presented outcome of the SWOT Analysis for MAIA service frequency/ies selection, the PRR concluded that the best solution (in terms of implementation schedule) was to further assess the feasibility of implementing MAIA with S-Band communications within the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS).

Point of Contact

In case of interest for the MAIA System topics, please notify the LuxSpace Project Manager:

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