European GNSS Supervisory Authority Launches EGNOS Portal

A DGAC ATR42 test aircraft lands at Limoges airport during EGNOS trials. (ESA photo)

The European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA), on behalf of the European Commission, has launched an Internet portal for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) designed to help developers and entrepreneurs vying for a slice of the emerging satellite navigation market.

The European counterpart to the U.S. GPS Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), EGNOS is a satellite-based augmentation system that provides real-time differential corrections and integrity information about GPS operations.

The European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA), on behalf of the European Commission, has launched an Internet portal for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) designed to help developers and entrepreneurs vying for a slice of the emerging satellite navigation market.

The European counterpart to the U.S. GPS Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), EGNOS is a satellite-based augmentation system that provides real-time differential corrections and integrity information about GPS operations.
Developed by the GSA, the portal contains free technical information, case studies, and success stories for the aviation, road, agriculture, location-based services (LBS), and maritime segments of the market.

The EGNOS free open service was declared operational last October.
Some of the features of the EGNOS Portal include:

Discover EGNOS: General information about EGNOS, including on the status and performance of the system

Developer Platform: Technical background documents, research and software tools needed for the development process. A list of EGNOS-enabled receivers, RF signal generators and constellation simulators, and sample applications are part of the Developer’s Toolkit, along with information on testing and validation tools.

Networking forums: Links up developers, industry, researchers and end users as a means of contacting, sharing information and creating alliances with peers. Companies, research centres and industry organisations can list themselves on the EGNOS directories to achieve maximum visibility in the market.

Library: Up-to-date background information. The EGNOS Library is a repository of technical documents, research papers and market information on EGNOS. A virtual GNSS library, research papers, market research reports and a list of relevant acronyms make this a ‘must visit’ for developers.

Business support: Entrepreneurs, business developers and marketers can reduce the stress of promoting and getting their product to market by using the wealth of information and tools available in this section.

In addition, the Portal features an updated news feed on EGNOS events and successful development projects.
Gian Gherardo Calini, GSA’s head of market development, notes that the portal will provide interactive forums for developers.

“Application developers and users are encouraged to post information, share ideas and ask questions via this channel,” he says. “We will make sure that every relevant question will be answered and every relevant comment will be used in improving the EGNOS Portal and in developing the EGNOS programme. We also have a directory of organizations involved in EGNOS, and we encourage you to register your organization.”

Michel Bosco, deputy head of the satellite navigation program unit dealing with applications at the European Commissionss Directorate for Enterprise, says the EGNOS Portal will help boost Europe’s satellite navigation market.

“Application developers need a source of information that they can rely on, whether the information they are looking for is technical, refers to the operation or performance of EGNOS, or concerns the legal implications of using EGNOS signals for their applications,” Bosco says.

The development of EGNOS arose from a tripartite agreement between the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission (EC) and Eurocontrol, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation.

In April 2009, ESA transferred EGNOS’s assets transferred to the EC on behalf of the European Community, which in turn assigned the operational management and maintenance of EGNOS to the European Satellite Services Provider (ESSP), a company founded in 2001 by seven air European air navigation service providers.

Once the ESSP is certified as an air navigation service provider and the system verified — currently expected to occur by the middle of this year — EGNOS will launch a safety-of-life service. Within a few years, EGNOS v3, a regional augmentation based on multiple GNSS systems including Europe’s Galileo, will be developed.