Monday, October 19, 2009

Korea Aerospace Conference Sets ADEX in Motion

Korea Air Show

Defense News


Korea Aerospace Conference Sets ADEX in Motion

By Wendell Minnick

SEOUL - Korea's efforts to push into space, develop better cyberwarfare capabilities and improve on UAVs for the battlefield was the focus of the 16th International Aerospace Symposium held here on Oct. 19.

The conference helped kick start the Seoul air show, officially known as the 7th Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX 2009), which will be held Oct. 20-25 at the Seoul Airport.

This year's conference and ADEX coincide with the 60th anniversary of South Korea's Air Force.

The conference theme was, "The Direction of Aerospace Power for Leading the Future Battlespace," with speeches by South Korea's National Defense Minister Kim Tae Young Kim; Gen. Kae Hoon Lee, South Korean Air Force chief of staff; and Gen. Jeffrey Remington, commander of the U.S. Air Force's 7th Air Force.

Lee said he was "proud to say that the largest aerospace exhibition in the Asia-Pacific region" was now ADEX.

Lee said South Korea was expanding its space programs with combined efforts by the National Space Committee, the Korean Aerospace Research Institute, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute and the Air Force, who are "striving toward establishing the foundations for a strong aerospace force."

Korea has been making strides in both space launch vehicles and satellites. In a speech about the country's space development policy initiatives, Moon Hae Joo, minister of education, science and technology said that South Korea is at the stage where it can "partially develop satellites and partially launch space launch vehicles." It cannot yet "independently develop satellites," but would soon have that capability.

South Korea has developed seven science and Earth observations satellites and launched four communications and broadcasting commercial satellites over the past 10 years. Currently, the country is developing launch vehicles that can handle larger payloads, including the Korean Space Launch Vehicle (KSLV-I), launched in August 2009 a second launch planned for 2010.

The conference was not all about outer space, but in some cases, inner space. Tai Myung Jung, professor at Sung Kyun Kwan University, gave an insightful description of recent cyber attacks in a speech about ways to counter them. Scenarios for the future include continued data eavesdropping, sniffing, spoofing, impersonation, computer hijacking, data fabrication and isolation by communication interruption. Jung said the best way to deal with cyber attacks is to raise the professional level of information technology operators, organize a cybersecurity branch, establish a cooperative scheme with private and public sectors, and establish professional computer security.

UAVs also played an important role in this year's conference. Dubi Lavi, director of the UAV Program Executive Office at Israel's Ministry of Defense, gave a history of Israel's UAV development beginning with the Chukar and Firebee and ending with today's Heron and Hermes 900.

There are a variety of UAVs on display at ADEX this year, including European, Israeli, South Korean and U.S. models.

On Oct. 22, ADEX hosts the Unmanned Systems East Asia 2009 Conference, with the theme "Developing Unmanned Systems Industries." Speakers include Kyle Snyder of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International; Sam Ok Koo of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, here; Itai Toren of Israeli company Elbit Systems; Joost Hakkaart of the Netherlands' National Aerospace Laboratory; and Dae Jin Baek of South Korean defense firm LIG Nex1.

ADEX has become the largest aerospace and defense show in East Asia, rivaling the Singapore Airshow. This year, there will be 273 exhibiting companies from 27 countries with expectations of 300,000 visitors.