Although EGNOS was the main focus of the annual EGNOS Service Provision Workshop, the topic of Galileo and the upcoming declaration of initial services was in the air too.
The annual EGNOS Service Provision Workshop, held 27 to 28 September in Warsaw, covered an array of topics, including an EGNOS service status update and success stories from partners currently using the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) in real applications. There were also dedicated sessions on such key market segments as aviation, maritime and land applications.
One key highlight was the status of EGNOS version 3 (V3). The European GNSS Agency (GSA) said it is currently working with the European Space Agency (ESA) on the EGNOS V3 acquisition process. When operational, the multi-frequency/multi-constellation EGNOS V3 will improve the accuracy and reliability of the positioning information. Currently, the GSA is working on securing the procurement of the DFMC Aviation prototype receiver (to be used for flight test) and the GEO-3 Navigation Payload services, in addition to various standardisation tasks.
“The delivery of EGNOS services is remarkably reliable and is continuously improving,” adds GSA EGNOS Programme Manager Jean-Marc Pieplu. “Together with the growing adoption of EGNOS in Europe and beyond, the GSA is now engaging in important investments for the future of EGNOS, including the addition of a second signal and a second constellation – Galileo – that will further improve its services.”
Looking towards Galileo
Even though the workshop was focused on EGNOS, the topic of Galileo was addressed at the opening. With Galileo Initial Services set to launch in the coming months, the session was an opportunity to reflect on the important role EGNOS played in laying the foundation for Galileo, together with looking ahead at what users can expect when both EGNOS and Galileo are operational.
As the GSA prepares to take over the Galileo service provision, it will lean heavily on its strong track record and experience from its work with EGNOS, where it has been responsible for the programme’s service provision for the past two years. “Today, on the eve of this important step for the Galileo programme, we have the unique opportunity to see where this journey began and how far we’ve come,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Clearly, EGNOS has taught us a lot, and the many success stories presented here in Warsaw are proof of its importance.”
Over the past two years the GSA has supported the uptake of EGNOS to benefit a wide range of users. From the user perspective, EGNOS adoption continues to increase across numerous market segments. For example, today, over 200 airports have EGNOS-based approaches; EGNOS-based precision farming benefits over two-thirds of European tractors; and EGNOS is now the standard for mapping and surveying in Europe. “The future of European satellite navigation is bright,” adds des Dorides. “Five years from now, I hope the GSA will be able to present to you the similar successes for Galileo than the ones we are all currently enjoying with EGNOS.”
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