ESA is offering industry the opportunity to use a van fully

by the European Space Agency

More articles in Science Projects
3 December 2002

ESA is offering industry the opportunity to use a van fully equipped to demonstrate the next generation of advanced mobile multimedia equipment and applications.

The van can be used as a standard test platform. It offers the user ample space, electrical and computing power as well as a comfortable working environment. Over the past few months, the Joanneum Research institute, under contract with the European Space Agency (ESA), has developed an advanced mobile multimedia platform based on a commercial van. The van will allow experiments and public demonstration of advanced mobile services.

The passenger compartment is equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia equipment, the van contains a Dolby surround audio system, a DVD player, a car navigation system, a radio, a video recorder and a TV receiver. Each passenger seat is equipped with its own monitor, webcam, keyboard and head set. Four industrial PCs are interconnected via a 100 MBit LAN network.

The van also acts as a mobile access point for wireless LAN applications with data rates of up to 11 Mb/s. Complementing the computing facilities are 4 DVD drives, a DVD writer, a scanner and an inkjet printer. In addition, the van is equipped with a state of the art EGNOS receiver for navigation, a magnetometer/inclinometer for determining the car orientation and inclination and a turnable satellite array antenna for high speed data transfer via a satellite link. As a low speed backup for the satellite link the installed GPRS capable mobile phone can be used for video conferences using the cars PC network.

The rear part of the van forms an isolated compartment holding the satellite mobile test equipment and ancillary equipment. It allows the installation of up to 100 kg of user equipment, i.e. test beds for telecommunication experiments.