The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) - a joint project of the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission and Eurocontrol - is the first pan-European satellite navigation system with a high accuracy geolocation feature (less than 3 m.), which improves GPS (Global Positioning System) accuracy.
Launched in 2009, EGNOS consists of three geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations and is the precursor to Galileo, the full global satellite navigation system under development in Europe. The EGNOS Safety of Life service was officially declared available for aviation on March 2011. Space-based navigation signals have become usable for the safety-critical task of guiding aircraft during landing approaches. Other fields of use of EGNOS services are relevant to agriculture, for example for high-precision spraying of fertilizers, and transport, with automatic road tolling.
EGNOS-enabled procedures are already in use in France, the UK, Italy and Germany. The EGNOS Service Area includes all European countries and has the system-inherent capability to be extended to other regions, such as North Africa.
Thales Alenia Space
Thales Alenia Space is the prime contractor, in charge of producing this navigation overlay system. The company has guided a consortium of 50 businesses in 16 countries and has provided the fundamental parts for space and ground systems.
Thales Alenia Space Italy is responsible for the production of RIMS (Ranging and Integrity Monitoring Stations) and the CCF (Central Control Facility). RIMS receivers are used to gather data from GPS L1/L2, GLONASS L1 and GEO L1 signals, which are used in EGNOS’s processing system to generate constellation integrity information and correction information on measurements transmitted by GEO satellites.
For EGNOS, Telespazio performs system maintenance, telecommunications and logistics services, also developing new services in various public and private sectors (road, rail, maritime).
For several years, Telespazio has participated in projects in the field of navigation. Among these, the SENECA programme, developed by ASI and ENAV, to facilitate the dissemination of satellite navigation based on EGNOS in the Italian air traffic sector, and MEDUSA, a European programme that aims to introduce such services in the countries of the Mediterranean basin.