United Nations/Finland Workshop on the Applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems
Global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) technologies are now ubiquitous in everyday life: they are incorporated in electronic devices and are used by the public, surveyors, and geoscientists on a regular basis. In developing countries in particular, GNSS applications offer cost-effective solutions that make it possible to foster economic and social development without neglecting the need to preserve the environment, thus promoting sustainable development.
Current GNSS include the Global Positioning System (GPS), the Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) and the European Satellite Navigation System (Galileo). There are also two regional systems, the Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) system and the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), as well as various augmentation systems designed to improve one or more GNSS qualities, such as accuracy, robustness, and signal availability.
The availability of GNSS and other space-based systems is creating an unprecedented opportunity, bringing benefits in the areas of emergency management, marine and land monitoring, or fleet control to name a few. Due to this availability, the development of integrated applications is an area in rapid expansion. To address a wide array of GNSS applications for socioeconomic benefits and to focus on initiating pilot projects and strengthening the networking of GNSS-related institutions in the region, a Workshop on the Applications of GNSS will be held in Helsinki from 23 to 26 October 2023. This workshop is being organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in cooperation with the National Land Survey of Finland. The workshop will be hosted by the National Land Survey of Finland on behalf of the Government of Finland.
OBJECTIVES AND EXPECTED OUTCOMES
The main objectives of the workshop will be to reinforce the exchange of information between countries and scale up the capacities in the region pursuing the application of GNSS technology solutions; share information on national, regional, and global projects and initiatives, which could benefit regions; and enhance cross-fertilization among those projects and initiatives.
The specific objectives of the workshop will be to introduce GNSS-based technology and its applications; promote the greater exchange of actual experiences with specific applications; focus on appropriate GNSS applications projects at the national and/or regional levels; and define recommendations and findings to be forwarded as a contribution to the Office for Outer Space Affairs and the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG), particularly, in forging partnerships to strengthen and deliver capacity-building on satellite navigation science and technology.
The expected outcomes of the workshop will be recommendations and findings on discussed topics to be adopted by the workshop participants; preliminary agreement of cooperation between countries in the region and action plan addressing identified issues/concerns.
The discussions at the workshop will also be linked to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to its targets set out for Sustainable Development Goals, such as,
- SDG 3: Good health and wellbeing – GNSS positioning enables individual patients, staff or equipment to be monitored, and response teams directed more efficiently;
- SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy – GNSS reflectometry techniques can produce scatterometry models to assist in the optimum positioning of off-shore wind farms;
- SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – GNSS signals can be used for navigation and positioning of in-orbit space operations particularly from low-Earth orbit to cis-Lunar); and
- SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities – GNSS is widely used for urban planning in order to pinpoint structures and reference points for cadastral and urban planning purposes.