Navigation path

Frequently asked questions and answers


What is EGNOS?

EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) is the European Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) that enhances the GPS signals. Correction data provided by EGNOS improve the accuracy of the current GPS signals from about 10 metres to about 2 metres.

What is satellite navigation?

Navigation satellites broadcast signals which are used by a receiver to determine precisely its position, velocity and time. Satellite navigation systems support an unlimited number of users.

What services does EGNOS provide?

EGNOS offers users three high-performance navigation and positioning services. Those services are:

  1. Open Service (as of October 2009);
  2. Safety-Of-Life (as of March 2011);
  3. EGNOS Data Access Server (EDAS) (as of 2011).
Where does EGNOS provide coverage?

The EGNOS coverage area includes most European states and has the built-in capability to be extended to other regions, such as North Africa and EU neighbouring countries. For more detailed information, visit the EGNOS Phases of the Programme page.

What about EGNOS applications?

Many new applications have already been developed and others are in the pipeline. Receiver manufacturers and application developers have access to the necessary technical information through the EGNOS OS SDD and through the EGNOS portal.

What are the advantages of EGNOS?

EGNOS has been designed to meet stringent requirements coming from Aviation and therefore is also suitable for many other satellite navigation users and applications:

  • Accuracy of positioning is improved up to 1 and 2 meters horizontally and between 2 and 4 meters vertically;
  • Accuracy of timing is improved to better than 10 nanoseconds;
  • Agriculture users can reduce the usage of fertilizers, reducing costs and helping the environment;
  • Maritime users can profit from the better accuracy for harbor navigation or inland navigation;
  • Terrestrial (Road/Rail) users can benefit from enhanced tracking systems.

EGNOS also boosts the precision of all personal navigation applications, giving rise to new possibilities such as guiding aids for the blind.

What are the advantages of EGNOS for Aviation?

The key benefit of the use of EGNOS in Aviation is increased safety for passengers and crews. EGNOS provides a lower cost alternative to ground-based navigation aids, which is particularly interesting for small and medium-sized airports that cannot afford those ground-based systems. By using EGNOS, those airports can make landing much safer.

Another indirect benefit is that airports can increase their capacity.

For airlines, the use of EGNOS leads to less delays, diversions and cancellations of flights due to bad weather.

For the environment, the use of EGNOS leads to lower fuel consumption and reduced noise levels around airports.

What is Galileo?

Galileo is the European programme for a global satellite navigation system under civil control. That system will consist of 30 satellites, the associated ground infrastructure and regional/local augmentations. It will offer 5 services:

  1. Open Service,
  2. Commercial Service,
  3. Safety-Of-Life,
  4. Public Regulated Service (secure)
  5. Search and Rescue Service.

For more information, please browse through the Galileo pages.

What is GNSS?

GNSS is an acronym for Global Navigation Satellite Systems. Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) allow users worldwide to pinpoint their locations or the locations of objects, other people and goods at any given moment.

Why do we need Galileo when we already have GPS?

Galileo ensures Europe's political independence in a sector that has become critical for both its economy and the well-being of its citizens.

Galileo also translates into additional business and job opportunities in Europe, in the space-related industries but also in the sectors of satellite receivers and satellite navigation applications.

For a more detailed overview of why Europe needs Galileo, please visit the Why Galileo page.

Do I have to pay for Galileo?

No. The Open Service of Galileo will be free.

What about Galileo applications?

Many potential applications have already been identified, based on the higher precision and wider availability of GNSS signals when Galileo becomes operational. This list is certain to grow, limited only by the imaginations of innovative entrepreneurs and service providers. Receiver manufacturers and application developers have access to the necessary technical specifications through the Galileo OS SIS ICD.

In what sectors can Galileo be used?

Galileo can be used in all sectors, aviation, road, agriculture, maritime, civil engineering, the list could be endless.

When will Galileo be available?

Galileo will provide initial services as of 2014/2015. This will include an initial Open Service for normal navigation applications, an initial Search-And-Rescue Service for rescue operations and an initial Public Regulated Service for use by governmental authorities.

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