The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) could be extended into Russia as a first step in any long-term arrangement with the Moscow government.

EGNOS increases the accuracy and integrity of satellite navigation systems such as GPS and is a joint project between the European Space Agency, European Commission and Eurocontrol.

Similar in concept to the USA’s space-based Wide Area Augmentation System, EGNOS is a precursor to Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system.

The system started operation in July and, until Galileo becomes operational in 2008, will augment the accuracy and integrity of US GPS and Russian Glonass satellite navigation services available in the European Union area.

Russia has no similar space-based augmentation system. “Discussions with the Russians started three years ago and are still ongoing. The military nature of Glonass has been an issue,” says Sergio Greco, senior vice-president for navigation at Alcatel Alenia Space, which led the consortium that developed EGNOS. Alcatel Alenia is also part of the industry consortium negotiating with the EU/ESA Galileo Joint Undertaking organisation to operate Galileo and EGNOS.

EGNOS uses three geostationary satellites to broadcast accuracy and reliability data about GPS services gathered by ground stations. It allows European users to determine position to within 5m (16ft).


Source: Flight International