Stewards of the Water Via Satellite

Korea Taps Comtech’s Next Generation Ground Systems for Nationwide Water Management System.

The Korea Water Resources Corporation or K-Water, Republic of South Korea’s government-run water resource management agency, is on a multi-front mission to protect the region’s water for citizens and industries who depend on it every day.

The organization monitors the flow of water in rivers, streams, and the water system itself using an intelligent country-wide satellite-based ground network from Comtech, which helps enable teams to track weather trends and potential threats to South Korea’s water supply.

Comtech’s private, secure very small aperture terminal (VSAT) ground network was first deployed in 2023 to transport real-time data to K-Water’s state-of-the-art operations center in the city of Daejeon, where officials closely watch flow data and video surveillance of reservoirs, dams, and other key operations.

K-Water recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Comtech to further enhance the company’s next-generation VSAT capabilities—enabling the government agency to stay ahead of the increasing unpredictability of South Korea’s weather with a more resilient technologies and real-time data capabilities.

Staying Ahead of Increasingly Unpredictable Weather

K-Water has long relied on historical weather data to add a layer of preventive resource management to its proactive plan to reduce the severity of drought in the dry season and floods in the wet season on its overall operation. But times have changed.

The emerging challenge in recent years is more about the unpredictability and extreme nature of recent weather patterns. The agency has partnered with Comtech to deliver an upgraded ground system network to provide next-generation VSAT features intended to support future data analytics and smart network needs. Today, Comtech’s ELEVATE VSAT network is not only helping K-Water transport vast amounts of data, but the company’s VSAT systems are also helping support the orchestration of smart network management and analytic features by providing smart routing, reliable, and resilient paths for data delivery at any given moment.

The enhancements will sustain reliable network operations and minimize downtime even in the most challenging weather scenarios, which could ultimately lessen the impact of extreme weather. That’s a game changer considering the critical nature of drinking water availability for millions of people and industrial water supplies serving factories and businesses across the country – from Gimpo and Hwacheon in the North to Gwangju and Buson in the South.

Comtech’s intelligent, VSAT ground systems and private network cover more than 500 sites that collect and transmit data from sensors and nodes at key water stations throughout South Korea, where roads and terrestrial infrastructure and connectivity are limited or non-existent beyond the big cities.

The Comtech ground systems replaced another provider’s legacy offering with unprecedented resiliency and innovative capabilities to support a large network of sensor and hub installations designed to measure water in-flows and out-flows at reservoirs, rivers, and dams across the region.

Today, K-Water can collect enough precision data over the satellite network to see warning signs in advance of significant flooding or drought conditions. Officials can open and close water discharge gates at dams to help control the flow of water in specific areas, softening the blow of many extreme weather events.

Preventative maintenance data will also help K-Water avoid infrastructure degradation issues over time, keeping the integrity of critical operations and structures sound and free of most unplanned wear and tear repair issues and service disruptions.

Surveillance video feeds offer remote eyes on the entire water system operation, ensuring smooth operations and security aimed at protecting the country’s water supply from bad actors. The network also monitors itself against potential lengthy outages and interruptions in the event of natural or technical disasters and disruptions. Redundant network links are designed to engage in the event a primary link is knocked out for any reason to ensure minimum downtime.

On the Horizon

Comtech teams continue to collaborate and offer regular technical exchanges with the K-Water team and Korea Telecom, the satellite bandwidth provider. The Korean water management agency chose Comtech in part for the company’s differentiated expertise, technology, and experience enabling precision data and insights delivery across a wide range of industrial operations.

Comtech is currently managing many large VSAT ground networks around the world, which allow utility companies, for example, to operate and monitor electrical grids and gas pipelines by using enterprise systems in the range of about 1200 to 1300 sites.

Leveraging that vast knowledge, Comtech has approached the K-Water water resources management operation with a network designed to deliver assured communications features, which address the agency’s top priorities of the safety and availability of South Korea’s water.

To keep South Korea’s water flowing, it must have an intelligent ground system provider capable of keeping the enterprise-wide system management network up and running and transporting key operational data.

K-Water has a particular algorithm of operational redundancy that switches between multiple geostationary (GEO) satellite gateways or hubs to provide resiliency for failover scenarios. The new MoU between Comtech and K-Water affirms the success of the alliance to date with a focus on optimizing network redundancy and enabling a new level of data and insights collection and analytics at the K-Water NOC.

Comtech’s next-generation VSAT network features advanced capabilities, such as HDNA waveforms, spread spectrum, and TDMA return paths to meet K-Water’s current and future system management requirements.

As weather patterns become far less predictable and more extreme and complex, K-Water must have an intelligent ground system it can trust to retain optimal uptimes and deliver real-time critical insights that reflect current scenarios rather than outdated, historical seasonal data. Comtech and K-Water are already keenly focused on the horizon and optimizing the system to redefine a new level of maximum resiliency to further protect and effectively provide South Korea’s water for years to come.





Recent Contract Wins

In the past year, we’ve made great headway in both…

James Thomas Named Comtech’s First Government Affairs Leader

Vice President of Government Affairs is Opening New Doors for…

3Q Earnings Highlights & Refinancing

Last week, we reported our third quarter earnings for fiscal…