EGNOS is Europe’s first concrete venture into satellite navigation. Essentially a ‘pre-Galileo’ system, EGNOS uses geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations to receive, analyse and augment, and then re-transmit GPS, Glonass and eventually Galileo signals.
EGNOS makes existing satellite navigation signals suitable for safety critical applications such as flying aircraft or navigating ships through narrow channels and is a key driver for Satsafe® safety and security applications. EGNOS increases the accuracy of existing satellite positioning signals while providing a crucial ‘integrity message’, informing users in the event of signal problems and was therefore, certified for civil aviation in 2011. EGNOS also transmits an extremely accurate universal time signal.
EGNOS will augment and complement already existing satellite and other navigation services. However, unlike these services, EGNOS will provide an unprecedented level of accuracy and reliability, including a failure signal that will allow the development of completely new safety-critical applications.
EGNOS is designed to assist air navigation both en route as well as during landing. It will assist air traffic control to cope with increased traffic, improving safety and reducing the infrastructure needed on the ground.
Precision agriculture is a highly effective farming strategy that increases yield and productivity, while lowering costs and minimising environmental impact. With costs perpetually on the rise and environmental demands gaining ground by the day, efficient and sustainable farming solutions are needed more than ever.
Traditionally, the barrier to precision agriculture has been a substantial equipment investment and costly ongoing subscriptions. Now, EGNOS can change this equation by offering an affordable precision solution.
Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) provide an efficient technology for mapping and are widely used by organisations such as utility companies as well as regional and local authorities.
The use of GNSS in mapping often means services with centimetre level accuracy and substantial costs. It can also imply significant investment in infrastructure for service providers or regional authorities as well as complex and costly equipment and software solutions for professionals. Now EGNOS can contribute in growing the use of GNSS in real time mapping solutions by providing free accuracy that is widely available.
EGNOS maritime applications will help improve navigation, operations, traffic management, seaport operations, inland waterways, casualty analysis, offshore exploration and exploitation and fisheries.
Increasing capacity and safety of rail transport © Peter Gutierrez
Companies that transport goods need to know where their vehicles are at all times, as do public services such as police, ambulance and taxi services. EGNOS will be a key tool for better managing land transport in Europe, increase both capacity and safety, whether by road or rail. Goods managers will be able to know exactly when a consignment has been held up and its exact location. This will also improve customer service, as clients can be notified of delays and the reasons for them. Operators will also be able to dispatch breakdown crews to precisely defined locations at a moment’s notice.
Computer and telecommunication networks around the world need extremely accurate clock references. EGNOS will broadcast a reliable time standard with unprecedented accuracy.
EGNOS will have many other potential uses. New surveying, mapping and geographic information systems will be made possible. It will help farmers to better manage aerial crop spraying or precision farming. Police services will be better able to detect fraud and security patrols to monitor risky situations. EGNOS services have already been tested for a variety of uses, including tracking cyclists in the Tour de France and helping to guide blind pedestrians.