Alenia Space, the joint venture between Thales (67 percent) and Leonardo (33 percent), announced that it has signed its first contract with the EU Agency for Space Programme (EUSPA), to provide new capabilities to Europe’s EGNOS satellite navigation system. With this contract, Thales Alenia Space will start the development for Europe of a new EGNOS version introducing a new generation uplink station (NLES, Navigation Land Earth Station) allowing the introduction of new GEO satellites in the system for improved redundancy, and ensuring compatibility to the future emission of Dual Frequency & Multi-Constellation messages (i.e. future introduction of dual frequency algorithms and usage of the Galileo and GPS constellations).

Dual Frequency Multi Constellation (DFMC) SBAS service’s use two frequencies instead of one, providing improved availability with resiliency to interference. This especially helps in urban environments where signals may reflect off several buildings, or at times of ionospheric storms both of which can significantly affect navigation signals. A DFMC SBAS service can also have accuracy improvements by concurrently utilising signals from the increasing number of navigation satellites being put into orbit.

Future advances in SBAS technology with significantly improved vertical and pass on pass accuracy for critical services can provide significant regional aviation benefits in Australia and New Zealand along with broader industry benefits across many sectors including, mining and resources as well as agriculture and transport. Thales’s certified and proven SBAS SoL services can be applied in complex ionospheric equatorial zones using Thales specific algorithms developed over the last five years through significant R&D investment, and in view of the operational SBAS services expected to be delivered in 2024.

“Today’s contract signature bolsters Thales Alenia Space leadership position in SBAS and satellite navigation. Supported by a strong R&D activity, we are currently developing and testing with success SBAS next generation architectures and capabilities. The strong dynamic we experience on our SBAS export markets in Asia, Africa & Indian Ocean demonstrate our solution global attractiveness for our customers” said Benoit Broudy, Navigation Vice President at Thales Alenia Space in France.

EGNOS, flagship program of the European Union, is the European satellite navigation system, designed to improve positioning messages from GPS (Global Positioning System). First deployed in 2005, with its open service operational since 2009, the current EGNOS system was developed by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor and is managed by EUSPA since 2014.


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