ASSIST (2014-2015)

“Advanced Snow plough and salt Spreader based on Innovative Space Technologies” (ASSIST) is a project that aims to evaluate, through a comprehensive feasibility study, both technical and economic aspects of space based services which are focused on the convergence of multiple space assets. It aims to trade off the most efficient solutions with respect to the identified user needs and requirements for the winter road maintenance operations according to a user driven approach. ASSIST is funded by the European Space Agency under the ARTES 20 Feasibility Study “Space based services for winter road maintenance” and it will last twelve months.


The proposed architecture takes advantage of mature components – being results of previous projects (i.e. GOLDEN-ICE or GOLDEN-INFRA) or even COTS - providing then a high readiness level in terms of both technologies and services. The architecture is also designed to enable different service levels - exploiting the flexible and scalable backend based on cloud computing technologies -, resulting then in a viable platform where different patterns of user requirements could be satisfied.


The result of the use of leading edge technologies and of several standards is an end-to-end concept designed to be extensible with additional services, allowing an easy integration of pre-existing solutions and external systems that can be connected to the winter services middleware (e.g. road and traffic management systems). Such architecture leads to the possibility to have different services level according to the resources that can be integrated. In particular it could be useful to present some examples of this philosophy that will be fully developed in the feasibility study: 

  • The baseline for the positioning augmentation is the use of EGNOS/EDAS, but by means of integration of more precise and expensive local area correction solutions, a more precise system can be achieved;
  • The integration of digital information, for an enhanced assistance to the drivers, can be obtained through Earth Observation or leveraging on external data. As per the navigation corrections, there is the possibility to have different performances with respect to different investment capabilities;
  • Data collection, aggregation and processing in a cloud-based environment supports the management during decision making process and analysis a posteriori of the ended intervention. 

A key element that will be assessed during the feasibility study is the On-Board Unit (OBU) that is also the primary interface towards the operators in the field.

Indeed, the ASSIST consortium gathers partners with complementary skills and background as well as integrated expertise areas, able to represent the whole value chain of a service supporting winter road maintenance:

More information on the website


Recent news on this project:

ASSIST project kicks off in Torino

Assist Progress Meeting in Torino

ASSIST Project:NavSAS in Sweden to test a prototype of advanced snow plough and salt spreader

European Space Agency