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Successful launch for the EGNOS GEO-2 satellite aboard Ariane 5 !!! Pubblicato il: 22/03/2014, Ultimo aggiornamento: 25/06/2015

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At 23:04 on March 22nd, 2014, the giant rocket Ariane 5 lifted off from the European Space Port of Kourou, sending to space it payload of satellites, amongst which the ASTRA 5B GEO-2 of carrying the EGNOS payload.



This successful launch will ensure the replacement of an aging EGNOS satellite, and so provide augmented navigation services for another 15 years.

ASTRA 5B has a launch mass of 5724 kilograms, a wingspan of 40m once its solar arrays are deployed in orbit, and a spacecraft power of 13kW at the end of its 15-year design lifetime.

EGNOS, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, is a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) that improves the accuracy and provides integrity to the GPS signal over most of Europe.

SBAS systems are designed to augment the navigation system constellation by broadcasting additional signals from geostationary (GEO) satellites; they provide differential correction messages and integrity data for the GPS satellites which are in the view of a network of monitoring stations, taking into account signal distortions provoked by factors like the ionosphere, and which could seriously impair the precision of the localisation.

Similar services are provided in North America by the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), in Japan by the Multifunctional Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS) and in India by the GAGAN System. Other similar Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) are under study or development in other regions of the world.

EGNOS delivers more accurate positioning data, for improving existing services or developing a wide range of new services for different market segment such as aviation, mapping, precise agriculture, road, and location-based services (LBS).

It is is the first pan-European satellite navigation system and Europe's first venture into satellite navigation and a major stepping-stone towards Galileo, Europe's own future global satellite navigation system.

EGNOS is made up of transponders on board three geostationary satellites (Artemis, Inmarsat 3F2, Inmarsat 4F2), and an interconnected ground network of forty positioning stations and four control centres which cover most of the territory of the EU offering three high-performance navigation and positioning services:

  • EGNOS Open Service increases the accuracy of the current GNSS and enables the use of applications requiring higher precision by correcting errors caused by atmospheric disturbance factors. Citizens can profit from better personal GNSS navigation provided that they use an EGNOS-enabled receiver (as most recent models do). This Open Service is also already widely used in agriculture for high precision applications such as the spraying of fertilisers and in mapping (for an accurate measurement of areas).
  • The Safety-of-Life Service enables precision landing approaches and renders air navigation safer as well reducing delays, diversions and cancellations of flights. EGNOS also enables the planning of shorter, more fuel-efficient routes which reduce the CO2 emissions of the aviation industry. EGNOS is currently available over more than 85 airports, while 186 other European airports expressed interest to be equipped in 2014.
  • The Commercial Service or EDAS provides a terrestrial commercial data service which offers professional users ground-based access to EGNOS data.

EGNOS is owned by the European Commission and was launched in 2009 to be part of the Galileo global satellite navigation system. The European Space Agency designed EGNOS under a delegation agreement with the Commission.

As from January 1st, 2014, EGNOS is operated by the European GNSS Agency (GSA) based in Prague.