The already operational European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is Europe’s first venture into satellite navigation and paved the way for Galileo, Europe’s independent global satellite navigation system. As a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS), EGNOS improves the accuracy of basic satellite navigation signals in Europe such as those from the USA’s Global Positioning System (GPS), including the brand new GPS III and soon Galileo. In addition, it provides “integrity” information, which warns the user when any signal is underperforming. The improved accuracy along with the integrity feature render GPS (and soon Galileo) signals suitable for use in safety critical applications such as aviation or maritime navigation.
The EGNOS system is composed of transponders installed on three geostationary satellites and an interconnected ground network of about 40 positioning stations and 2 mission control centres. At the moment, EGNOS offers good performance in all EU countries with the exception of certain places located in the northern, southern, and eastern extremes of EU territory. The coverage is constantly being improved.
EGNOS has the technical capability to be extended to North Africa and the Middle East, pending the construction of additional ground infrastructure and the related cooperation agreements.
Under the ENP-East extension, it could also cover Ukraine, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Genesis of EGNOS
The development of EGNOS was managed by the European Space Agency (ESA) under a tripartite agreement with the European Commission and the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol).
The European GNSS Agency (former GSA, now EUSPA) has been the EGNOS Programme Manager under delegation from the Commission since 2014 and ESA is the design and procurement agent working on behalf of the Commission.
Ownership of the EGNOS assets was transferred from ESA to the Commission in April 2009 and EGNOS officially entered service on 1 October 2009. Through a contract with the EUSPA, the services are delivered by the European Satellite Services Provider, ESSP SaS, which was founded by seven air navigation service providers.
The services can be used in a wide variety of applications including aviation and agriculture.
➡️ Find out more about how Galileo impacts our lives at: https://www.gsa.europa.eu/egnos/what-egnos