What is EGNOS?

Hosted by the European Space Agency, the European Commission and Eurocontrol, EGNOS is the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, and is the first pan-European satellite navigation system. EGNOS comprises just three satellites, and acts as an enhancement to the US-based GPS system for safety critical applications in aviation and marine environments.

The EGNOS Open Service has been up and running since 1st October 2009. This provides freely available positioning data throughout Europe to any EGNOS-enabled GPS receiver. EGNOS Safety of Life and Commercial services are scheduled to commence operation later during 2010.

In addition to the three satellites, the EGNOS network comprises more than 40 ground stations Of these, 34 are ranging and integrity monitoring stations receiving signals from the US GPS satellites; there are four mission control centres to handle data processing and differential corrections counting; and there are six navigation land earth stations that create accuracy and reliability data for sending to the three satellite transponders for relay to end-user devices.

Similar services are provided in North America by the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), and in Japan by the Multifunctional Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS).

Spirent offers GNSS simulation systems that support EGNOS, WAAS and MSAS, allowing manufacturers to produce receivers supporting all forms of GPS augmentation.


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