"Today we want to talk about the communication system and technologies in the Arctic and look at our capabilities to provide information support in that area," said Svetlana Ganeeva, the Deputy Head of the Analytical Center, as she opened the Conference "Technologies in the Arctic."
The expert said that the Analytical Center was hard at work assessing the prospects for the development of the Northern Sea route. It is a difficult task with many variables and to be successful at tackling it, it is vital that all the technological capabilities available in the Arctic are understood and taken into account, Ms. Ganeeva noted.
"It has to be admitted that the telecommunications infrastructure in our Arctic regions could hardly cope with active development of Arctic projects. For several years now we have been considering projects that aim to deploy satellite-based communications systems for the Arctic region but so far no consensus has been reached on where our priorities should be. What is needed today is optimization of solutions and interdepartmental coordination of satellite communications projects in Russia that would take into account the goals of the Russian Space Agency and the Ministry for Communications," noted Yuri Urlichich, the Deputy Head of the Analytical Center.
Alexei Safronov, lead expert of the Department for State-Run Programs and Budgeting of the Analytical Center, talked in depths about progress made so far. "Structurally, our efforts were divided into 3 stages. Currently we are embarking on the last of those," the expert said. "The idea was to identify all the potential cargo traffic that could in theory be handled by the Northern Sea Route." The next step was to identify the conditions that had to be met as well as the funds needed for that. The last stage is to draw up a business offer for potential investors, Mr. Safronov noted.
"In order to keep the Northern Sea Route open on a regular basis, we have to ensure we reliably predict the time of all deliveries while at this point we can not do that because weather conditions can mess up all schedules," the expert summed up. It is for this reason that it is vital we understand all the technological capabilities for communication in the Arctic so we can predict how long a vessel is going to spend en route.
"In order to keep the Northern Sea Route open on a regular basis, we have to ensure we reliably predict the time of all deliveries while at this point we can not do that because weather conditions can mess up all schedules."
Alexei Safronov, lead expert of the Department for State-Run Programs and Budgeting of the Analytical Center
Alexander Egorov, the Head of the unit for special projects at the Department of Infrastructure Projects of the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation, talked about the key aspects of the Ministry’s work in the Arctic. According to him, the Artic is of strategic importance for Russia. There is a number of strategic documents stipulating that the Arctic must be developed with emphasis being placed on improving the socio-economic living conditions for the population, ensuring security, extraction of mineral resources, development of transport infrastructure, and protection of the environment. Mr. Egorov also noted that a reliable communication system is needed to implement all these projects. "With regards to satellite-based communication systems, satellites in high elliptical orbits are more promising as they would have far more coverage in that area," the expert explained.
"We have to bear in mind that the Arctic region has challenging climatic conditions, most key industrial installations are isolated, and there are other problems as well. So infrastructure and transport communications are key issues there. After all the quality of life depends to a large extent on transport accessibility and the ability to transmit data in all formats," Nikolai Serykh, the Chair of the Board of Directors of Centre for Applied Research LLC, is sure. The expert believes that until the state sorts out communication issues in the Arctic, business will not be able to implement any projects there. The expert believes a new technological platform needs to be developed to tackle the problem.
During the event experts also reviewed promising satellite based communication systems, talked about the trends in the development of fast communication satellite systems and about feasibility of creating a MEO-HTS Ka system in the Artic.
Rrepresentatives of state authorities, key telecommunications companies, research and expert organizations, and the business community took part in the event.