Tue, 02/09/2010

The European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) has awarded its European Satellite Navigation Competition Special Topic Prize at the prestigious Residenz in Munich, Germany. The honour went to a new precise outdoor navigation system for smartphones.

On 21 October 2009, GSA Executive Director Pedro Pedreira handed the GSA Special Topics prize to entrepreneurs Raphael Volz, Sara Brockmans and Markus Noga from Germany. Their 'Nogago' system exploits the unique properties of EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service).

The winners of the GSA Special Topic Prize © Simone HörmannThe winners of the GSA Special Topic Prize © Simone Hörmann

"EGNOS is now operational," said Pedreira, "and we are working very hard to increase its visibility and to get the industrial sector and public authorities to reap its benefits. This new project, our 2009 GSA Special Topic winner, is a great example of how the EGNOS system can work for both citizens and businesses."

Prize winner Volz explains, "Nogago is a family of smartphone applications that turn modern existing smartphones into outdoor navigation devices." The team, he says, plan to create three product variants to accommodate different outdoor navigation needs: Theses include 'Nogago Outdoor' for hiking and trekking, 'Nogago Guide' for sightseeing and pedestrian navigation, and 'Nogago Sport' for running and biking.

Nogago turns conventional smartphones into a full substitute for dedicated high-end consumer outdoor navigation devices, thereby enabling significant cost savings for consumers who already own a smartphone. "No one will have to buy expensive dedicated devices," says Volz. The trick is to combine GPS information with data already on the device. "We can emulate barometric altitude sensors and an electronic compass not commonly available on most smartphones. With the availability of A-GPS, today's smartphones will even outperform dedicated outdoor navigation devices with respect to the time needed to receive a satellite fix.

Exciting new service

Importantly, Nogago users will not have to pay for maps or even update them. Maps and other location-critical data will be updated automatically every time the users logs onto the system.

Nogago will make extensive use of open, community-maintained data, i.e. data sources already in the public domain. Thus, users will enjoy free and always up-to-date navigation data, in comparison to some currently available products that charge hundreds of euros for maps of limited scope and questionable accuracy.

The Nogago team say their system will use open data sets for outdoor navigation. For example,, a world-leading hiking community, currently has 200 000 trail maps that can be used to plan outdoor activities, including maps of areas in every part of the world. Users can also feed their own track logs back into the OpenStreetMap system to further improve the data.

The Nogago data set is bootstrapped from SRTM v3, provided by NASA. Limitations of the data set are addressed through integration of additional public data sources such as digital elevation models maintained by Jonathan de Ferranti at

"We integrate these and other data sets on our Web server," says Volz, "and transfer only relevant aspects to the Nogago mobile user. For example, we transfer only the map data needed to cover the area near a certain hiking track." Another example would be the transfer of only that data needed to go sightseeing in a particular city. Data selection and compilation is provided by the Nogago server application.

Stiff competition

In his introductory comments, Pedreira noted that a large number of submissions for the GSA prize had been made, all of which were very promising, pointing to a strong future for EGNOS-based products and services.

For example, the runner-up for the prize was an idea put forward for a smart GNSS-based sailing regatta racetimer system. The 'Challenging the World Sailing Cups' proposal provides a solution to the start line problem in sailing races. Features included service to an interesting niche market with high visibility, sensible use of EGNOS and GNSS, a strong technical component and potential use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR).

For the GSA, a crucial aspect of the first place Nogago proposal is that it takes advantage of the improved accuracy that EGNOS brings to satellite navigation.

Nogago uses the same GPS functionality available in modern smartphones, either internally to the mobile phone or externally with GPS devices connected to the phone via BlueTooth. But it will also use SBAS-Systems such as WAAS, MSAS, GAGAN and EGNOS to increase accuracy of the positioning. Eventually, GALILEO will provide even higher accuracy, availability and reliability, helping Nogago to deliver a better outdoor navigation experience to its users.

Volz says that while the Nogago team was surprised by the award announcement, they are very, very happy. "The recognition is important, of course," he says," but this is also going to be a huge opportunity for us to move forward quickly with our project."

As GSA Special Topic Prize winners, the Nogago team will now have the opportunity to realise their idea at a suitable incubation centre of their own choice within the EU27 for six months, with the option of an additional six months based on evaluation after the first period.

"This is the end of the competition," said Pedreira, "but it is still just the beginning for our winners, who now move on to the challenge of bringing an exciting new idea and a new and competitive service to market. This is the real reason we are here, and, on that point we are very happy to report the good progress being made by last year's GSA Special Topic winner, the 'POB' rescue system."

Award criteria

The GSA Special Topic Award is given on the basis of a number of criteria:

  • Uniqueness and originality of the idea
  • Business potential (technical feasibility, commercial feasibility, size of market and time to market, credibility of the applicant)
  • Contribution to success of EGNOS/Galileo programme in terms of exploiting EGNOS/Galileo unique features, promoting EGNOS/Galileo awareness and bringing EGNOS to new markets.

The sponsorship of a Special Topic Award at the annual European Satellite Navigation Competition is part of the GSA’s overall programme to foster new applications for EGNOS, and, later on, Galileo. The applications must provide economic and social benefit to Europeans and to European industry.

Market development for EGNOS and Galileo

The GSA currently works with the European Commission on a range of market development activities aimed at helping European entrepreneurs and businesses – especially high tech small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), business incubators and related networks – commercially exploit EGNOS and Galileo.

Such promotional activities will ensure that European industry maintains a competitive edge in the global satellite navigation marketplace.

The European Satellite Navigation Competition is an international competition that awards the best ideas for innovative applications in satellite navigation. It has been held annually since 2004 under the patronage of the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transport, and Technology.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you do republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (

More information:


Fri, 03/11/2011

The successful completion of two EGNOS demonstration flight tests, carried out within the framework of the EU-funded GIANT-2 project, illustrates the potential value of EGNOS in improving aviation safety and efficiency throughout Europe. The test flights showed that applications such as civil aviation and search and rescue operations can benefit from EGNOS technology, ahead of the Commission’s declaration of EGNOS Safety-of-Life (SoL) service for aviation.

Regional benefits


The first test flight was carried out onboard a Cessna 172 plane at the Cuatro Vientos and Córdoba airports in Spain. These trials, which aimed to demonstrate EGNOS’ potential in helping small and medium airports run more safely and efficiently, were executed by an international team led by Aena (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea), the Spanish Air Navigation Service Provider. “EGNOS has real potential to benefit small and medium size airports, where time savings are important,” says GIANT-2 project coordinator Luis Chocano, who is head of space programmes at INECO.

A total of 9 Localizer Performance with Vertical (LPV) guidance approaches were flown. LPV approaches use new aircraft avionics that exploit satellite signals provided by Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems (SBASs) such as EGNOS, in addition to those provided by GPS. The EGNOS signals improve the performance meaning that safer instrument approach procedures with horizontal and vertical guidance can be performed, without the need for any local ground based radio-navigation aid.

It was important that the trials, which were carried out in February 2011 during the EGNOS SoL Observation Period, were executed in real operational scenarios with the participation of end users, before the EGNOS SoL service is made available to civil aviation users in Europe. Relevant user information was collected in order to detect potential issues, along with general user feedback.

The trials provided clear evidence that flight operations based on GPS/EGNOS will provide European airspace users with tangible safety and operational benefits as soon as EGNOS Safety-of-Life (SoL) is declared in service and flight procedures begin to be available for public use in the short term,” said GIANT flight trials coordinator Pablo Haro of Aena.

Pilots involved in the trials were enthusiastic about the new navigation era arising with EGNOS.

Search and rescue

The second flight test involved SAR helicopters off the Italian sea coast, and enabled a vitally important potential end user – the Italian Coast Guard – to use the navigation technology for maritime search and rescue. Emergency services rely on the speed and versatility of helicopters, because their ability to reach locations without landing aids - in medical evacuations or rescue missions for example - often makes them the only feasible method of transport. Adverse conditions however can often stop them landing because instrument approaches are not available. Indeed, due to inadequacies of current onboard navigation systems, a number of missions have to be aborted.

This is where EGNOS comes in, by offering significantly enhanced horizontal and vertical precise navigation. It provides improved positioning measurements by using network of reference stations in 20 countries, which pick up signals from GPS satellites. The result is substantially improved accuracy and data integrity. The purpose of these flight tests, in which helicopters departed from and landed in Cascina Costa, was therefore to assess the vertical guidance offered, and to examine the impact on improved safety for helicopter approaches. Agusta Westland was the SAR helicopter trials coordinator.

A GIANT step forward

These flight demonstrations were carried out in the framework of the GIANT-2 project, managed by the GSA as part of the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme and coordinated by INECO.  GIANT -2 (GNSS Introduction In the AviatioN sector -2) aims to continue the successful work started in the previous GIANT project in introducing EGNOS to the aviation sector. The introduction of EGNOS applications in the area of Regional and General Aviation, helicopter HEMS (Medical) operations and North Sea Oil Rigs operations were successfully trialled in the GIANT, GIANT 2 and HEDGE projects. 

The focus of the GIANT- 2 project is also on introducing EGNOS enabled operations to end users themselves within identified niche markets, the final goal being the use of integrated avionics onboard. The GIANT-2 project therefore represents a step forward in the promotion of EGNOS aviation applications in key niche markets. The next LPV flight demonstration – dealing with business aviation - will be performed onboard a Falcon 2000 aircraft in Cuatro Vientos and Santander airports in the coming months.

Fri, 02/25/2011

The European Commission expects Galileo and EGNOS to help secure a bigger share of the space technology market and bring European independence in a sector that is important for its economy and for the well being of its citizens. Its new mid-term review also confirms considerable progress for the EGNOS programme, which increases the accuracy of signals from existing satellite navigation systems such as GPS.

Galileo and EGNOS remain high on the EC agenda. © Peter Gutierrez

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, says, "Galileo will allow Europe to compete in the global space technology market and to impose itself as one of the leading players in a growing sector characterised by increased internationalisation and the entry of emerging economies. We are satisfied with the progress made so far and committed to bringing this project to fruition."

The global satellite navigation applications market is expected to be worth €240 billion by 2020 and has been growing at a rate of 30% in the past few years. It is estimated that currently 6-7% of GDP of developed countries, €800 billion in Europe, depends on satellite navigation. The EU budget will include €3.4 billion for the European satellite navigation programmes, Galileo and EGNOS, over the 2007–2013 period. It is estimated that €1.9 billion will be necessary for the 2014–2020 period to complete Galileo infrastructure. The operational costs of Galileo and EGNOS together are estimated at an annual €800 million.


EGNOS operational: EGNOS became operational on 1 October 2009. The increased accuracy of satellite navigation that EGNOS provides already benefits many users, notably in agriculture, rescue operations, geo-localisation and cartography. It will soon also be available for civil aviation.

Galileo in-orbit validation phase well underway: The two experimental satellites Giove A and Giove B are securing the frequencies and determining the reliability of the technology used. The building of the first four operational satellites, which are part of the in-orbit validation phase and will be launched in 2011–2012, is nearing completion as is the creation of the associated ground-based infrastructure, including the ground control centres in Fucino, Italy, and Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany.

Contracts allocated for the deployment of Galileo: The deployment phase began in 2008 and work has been divided into six lots, which have all been opened to public procurement markets. The first four lots, i.e. engineering support, satellites construction (with an order placed for 14), launch services and operations, were all allocated in 2010 for roughly €1.25 billion. The final two lots, which concern ground infrastructure, will be allocated in 2011.

Secure satellite navigation for emergency and security services: A special Galileo navigation service will be set up for better management of critical transport and emergency services, better law enforcement (police), improved internal security (border control) and safer peace missions. These are the core objectives of a European Commission proposal published in October 2010 on the Public Regulated Service (PRS) access rules. Using secure, encrypted signals, PRS will offer protection against threats to infrastructure dependent on satellite navigation technology.

International co-operation: Regarding the international aspect of the programme, the compatibility of the EU system and those of China, the United States, Russia, Japan and India is being discussed with each nation within a UN context. Norway is also participating and has contributed to the funding of the program, and there are on-going negotiations with Switzerland.

More information:

DG Enterprise and Industry

Fri, 06/24/2011

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are finding ever-more applications in many industries and areas of life. To react to the growing interest and demand in the field, the Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (ENAC) and the Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE), both based in Toulouse, France, are launching a new Master of Science (MSc) in GNSS programme.

enac 01.jpgENAC campus in Toulouse. ©ENAC

The first classes in this two-year graduate programme will begin in September 2011.

Two additional universities, the University of Federal Armed Forces in Munich, Germany, and the Politecnico di Torino in Italy, will contribute by teaching and providing links to industry. The course has been developed in collaboration by all four universities with the support of the European Commission and the European GNSS Agency (GSA).

Meeting growing demand

The GSA’s market monitoring expects the global market for satellite-based navigation products and services to grow to €250 billion by 2030. Galileo, the EU’s GNSS system, is forecast to increase the overall value of the market by about €14 billion from 2010 to 2027.

Meanwhile, activities and developments vis-à-vis the Glonass system in Russia, China’s Compass system, IRNSS and Gagan in India, as well as QZSS and MSAS in Japan, and GPS in the USA are also driving the need for graduate students to fill open positions in the field.

A new qualification

The new two-year MSc in GNSS aims at providing advanced education in satellite-based positioning and its applications, as well as in telecommunications. It also includes a six-month internship in industry. The qualification has been recognised by the French Ministry of Higher Education.

Applications are open to students with a completed bachelor's degree (BSc or BEng) in electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, mathematics, physics or equivalent.

The course, based in Toulouse, is taught in English. Some of the topics covered in the programme are: navigation and positioning techniques taking into account different GNSS applications; alternative positioning techniques; signal processing and design; space and mobile telecommunications; network architecture and systems engineering; project management and intellectual property; and telecommunications and GNSS businesses.

More information:

ENAC Master of Science in GNSS

Thu, 10/07/2010

The projected benefits of EGNOS for regional airports on the African continent are numerous, including safer landings, increased efficiency, reliable services for passengers and better access to remote regions with less well equipped airports. EGNOS’ coverage already extends into parts of North Africa and the Middle East, with further expansion into the rest of the continent expected to come up during the third EU-Africa Summit, when heads of state and government meet in Tripoli, Libya, at the end of November 2010

"The EC and AUC are currently drafting a joint 'detailed concept paper' that will guide decision-makers as they consider the development of important EGNOS services for the African continent," explained Michel Bosco, Deputy Head of Unit in charge of satellite navigation international relations at the European Commission, Directorate for Industry and Entrepreneurship. Speaking at the second EGNOS and Africa Stakeholders' Workshop on 14 September in Brussels, he said, "We need to gather political support now. The EU-Africa Summit in November will be a key moment for EGNOS in Africa."

Representing the African Union Commission, David Kajange, Head of the Transport and Tourism Division, Department of Infrastructure and Energy, said, "The 2008 Lisbon Declaration and subsequent Action Plan and Joint Strategy have Europe and Africa working together as equal partners. The dialogue that has been established is an important one, and we would like to see that process accelerated, including our discussions on the final disposition of the EGNOS programme in Africa."

EU and AU officials meet with potential users at second EGNOS and Africa Stakeholders' Workshop © Peter GutierrezEU and AU officials meet with potential users at second EGNOS and Africa Stakeholders' Workshop © Peter Gutierrez

Clear answers on costs and benefits

While the benefits of EGNOS are clear for many, some still have questions about the costs. Tamrat Tewodros of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) expressed his organisation's concerns. "Many of our African airlines are struggling simply to survive. We have very important safety issues that need to be addressed as a first priority. We are concerned that while EGNOS services will benefit many sectors, including road transport, agriculture and the like, the costs of building this new system will fall mainly on our sector."

Similar concerns were expressed by Fidelis Onyeyiri of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and Ernest Ilang'Ikwa of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECAAS) These were addressed directly by Nina Costa of NDConsult, who presented a highly anticipated cost-benefit analysis, showing the costs for the African continent amounting to €359 million while the benefits would reach €1.7 billion over time.

Stefano Scarda of the European Commission said, "The fact is that these costs would be covered under a joint EU-AU co-operative framework involving a variety of donors. We are talking about increased safety and important economic advantages, not about extra costs that will impact the African aviation industry. SBAS is a technology that delivers an economically efficient solution to the whole African aviation community, both large and small players, to comply with evolving standard requirements imposed at international level by ICAO."

Full partners

The AUC's Adiron Alberto said, "There can be no u-turn for GNSS. The adoption of SBAS in Africa is critical. We need international co-operation, we need a global consensus, with Africa as a full partner, and we need to address the concerns of African aviation experts."

Ladislaus Matindi of the EAC added another positive note, expressing his organisation's satisfaction with the approach now being taken. "We are very glad to see the EU pushing for the full involvement of African users. EGNOS is not something that is being imposed upon us by the European Union. This is a joint collaborative effort that we believe will bring real benefits."

More information:

Joint Statement of Vice President Tajani, European Commission and Commissioner Ezin, African Union Commission (.pdf)

Further progress in EU–Africa cooperation in Space (press release)

Wed, 03/03/2010

The Technology Transfer Programme of the European Space Agency (ESA) will hold an Investment Forum for start-up companies and small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) from 19-20 May 2010 in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Investment Forum aims to foster investment and partnership opportunities for companies using space technology or space systems in non-space applications. Participants will get an opportunity to meet with finance and investment representatives and to present their business plans.

“We believe that this is a unique opportunity for such companies in search of venture capital,” said Sue Davies of ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office.

In recent years, the transformation of space technologies into commercial applications has generated many business opportunities for Europeans in the satellite-based services market.

Free registration is open to independent companies with their operational headquarters in Europe that are active in space-related technologies and are seeking growth funding over the next two years.

Presentations before potential investors will last 8 minutes presentation followed by a 7-minute question and answer session.

The Investment Forum in Stuttgart is organised by ESA’s Technology Transfer Programme Office in collaboration with Europe Unlimited. Previous Investment Forums were held at the European Space Research and Technology Centre in the Netherlands and at La Hulpe, Belgium.

ESA has successfully transferred about 200 space technologies to non-space sectors for applications as diverse as cooling suits for a Formula 1 racing team and ground penetrating radar to detect cracks in mine tunnels.

The business promotion activities have also led to the creation of a number of new start-up companies in Europe, many of which have been promoted through ESA’s Business Incubator.

Register online and create a profile as a presenting company here.

More information:

ESA Investment Forum 2010 Registration

Wed, 02/10/2010

The 23 projects selected for the GSA’s first call for funding under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) demonstrate a wide range of innovative proposals for developing satellite navigation applications and services in the European marketplace.

The GSA’s analysis of the process used in the first call – along with the lessons learned – have fed into the second call, which is now underway. The recommendations, including one calling for applicants to provide better business plans, will also help those considering proposals for future calls.

The EU’s Framework Programmes foster research and development in strategic sectors via grants to collaborative projects. The funds are used to finance research, technological development and demonstration projects. Grants are determined through successive calls for proposals and peer review. The current round of funding, FP7, runs from 2007 to 2013 with grant levels set at 50%, 75% or 100% of a project’s total budget.

The GSA is responsible for overseeing most FP7 funding into research related to EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) and Galileo, the EU’s global navigation satellite system programmes.

The GSA’s allocation aims at ensuring that EGNOS and Galileo become the premier satellite navigation systems in Europe for civil use, and serve to generate public and social benefits. Projects must also stimulate market-oriented applications and services in Europe, or internationally.

Developing GNSS for Europe’s benefit

Telespazio satellite ground station at Fucino, Italy © ESATelespazio satellite ground station at Fucino, Italy © ESA

Under FP6, €110 million was granted to 77 R&D projects. About 300 companies participated in the projects as part of consortia. The results of FP6 are driving the themed approach to calls set by the GSA under FP7, while opening up new topics to be investigated.

The GSA had €16 million to allocate in the first call for project proposals under FP7. The GSA launched the first call in November 2007 and the successful projects were selected in September 2008.

Boris Kennes, the GSA’s Galileo Applications Officer, says the first call under FP7 targeted small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), location-based services, and the road and aviation sectors, in particular:

  • GNSS-based road applications with a focus on road-user charges and value-added services.
  • GNSS-based mobile location-based services applications with a focus on social applications.
  • Accelerating the adoption of EGNOS by the aviation sector, with a focus on general aviation and airport ground operations.
  • Mass-market GNSS applications with a specific focus

“We are focussing on closing remaining R&D gaps,” Kennes says. “We believe that the GNSS market is developing very fast and can benefit citizens, businesses and governments alike. “

Wide range of proposals made

Based on these themes 63 proposals from 296 different companies and institutions were received for consideration. In total, applicants requested €49 million in grants, about three times the budget for the first call. A breakdown of the proposals indicates that geographical reach was achieved. Entities from 41 different countries participated in the proposals.

The call also attracted a high number of newcomers, participants in proposals who had not previously made requests for grants under the Framework Programmes. An estimated 50% of participants had not participated in FP programmes before. However, most of the proposed project coordinators did have some FP experience.

The proposals were evaluated by independent expert panels, which rated them based on the call’s requirements and three evaluation criteria:

  • Scientific and or technological excellence.
  • Quality and efficiency of the implementation and management.
  • The potential impact through the development, dissemination and use of project results.

The mix of 23 projects selected for funding demonstrated a wide range of proposed innovations and participation (see the synopsis of the projects below).

Entities from 21 countries are part of winning consortia. Over 40% of the funds were granted to SMEs and they make up over 50% of the project coordinators. Consortia with a coordinator with FP experience outside of GNSS calls generally did well. This analysis indicates that the GNSS funding process is open to newcomers, says Kennes.

“SMEs were equally successful as non-SMEs in the evaluations,” Kennes says.

Presenting a clear business plan

A major factor for a successful application was the presentation of a clear plan for commercialising the research results. Business plans are mandatory for the GSA’s GNSS calls. The successful plans outlined an innovative concept with public and end-user benefits, and were made by consortia with good market access and a track record of innovation in the market.

“These differentiators should clearly be highlighted in the proposal,” Kennes says. “Proposals should be clear, concise and concrete. Start early enough, consortium building and proposal writing takes time.”

The lessons learned from the first call are being put to good use in the second call for proposals. The GSA’s second call under FP7 closed on 31 March, with applicants submitting 104 proposals. The proposals are being evaluated for funding consideration by 35 independent experts from 15 different countries. About €29 million is available for grants.

“FP7 will encourage the development of GNSS downstream applications,” says Kennes. “This will drive demand and pave the way for rapid Galileo adoption. In the short term, applications should take advantage of EGNOS, which is already available.”

The GNSS market has been growing at double-digit rates for the past decade, and this trend is expected to accelerate as new satellite systems with superior performance become operational and as the number of civilian applications continues to increase.

Industrial revenues for the worldwide GNSS market are forecast to reach €60 billion by 2011. By 2020, some three billion satellite navigation receivers are forecast to be in service.


The following is a brief outline of each of the 23 projects receiving FP7 funding through the GSA’s first call.

GSC (GNSS-enabled Services Convergence)

Develop a standardised platform for GNSS-based road tolling services. Define the specifications and tools for certification at the technical level and at the procedural levels for interoperability and convergence of such services.

GINA (GNSS for INnovative road Applications)

Develop a large-scale demonstrator of road user charging technical and commercial feasibility using EGNOS.

MUGGES (Mobile User Generated GEO Services)

Develop components such as GNSS-based intelligent tagging for enabling peer-to-peer community applications such as social mapping and mobile location games.

OPTI-TRANS (Optimised Transport System for Mobile Location Based Services)

Develop a mobile GNSS platform to provide commuters and travellers a trip planning service for public/private transportation via information from public transport authorities and private vehicle owners.

GIANT-2 (EGNOS Adoption in the Aviation Sector)

Introduce EGNOS via demonstrations to corporate and general aviation, school and training aviation and helicopter search-and-rescue segments. Builds on GIANT (FP6) project.

HEDGE (Helicopters Deploy GNSS in Europe)

Deveop and demonstrate new helicopter approach procedures as well as other EGNOS applications for general aviation. Builds on GIANT (FP6) project.

IEGLO (Infrastructure-based EGNOS/Galileo receiver for personal mobility)

Develop a handheld tracking device for the elderly and those affected by Alzheimer’s. The smartphone will incorporate inertial sensors to detect whether a patient has collapsed. The patient’s location will be secure transmitted to a central server.

MOW-BY-SAT (MOWing the lawn BY SATelite)

Demonstrate the use of a local GNSS augmentation using a combination of a specific phase processing and EGNOS/EDAS data. Enable the use of GNSS for robotic tasks (autonomous mobile platforms and missions) such as lawn mowing.

GALAPAGOS (GALileo-bAsed seamless and robust Positioning Applications for loGistics Optimation processes)

Develop a EGNOS/EDAS positioning system that can be used within the scope of logistics applications, such as for container tracking.

SIGNATURE Simple GNSS Assisted and Trusted Receiver

Prototype a GNSS-based solution for flexible road user charging that provides a trustworthy solution in a cost-effective and scalable manner.

ImaGeo (ImaGeo: Accurate geotemporal coding in photos)

Geo-temporal visual media tagging for personalised and context-aware GNSS applications and services. Users will be able to acquire geo-tagged photos through their mobile GNSS/EGNOS enabled devices and put them on a Web 2.0 travel content platform.

GSW (Galileo Speed Warning)

Develop intelligent speed adaptation (ISA) technologies to inform vehicle drivers of their behaviour in keeping to local speed limits. The project will test whether ISA has a role to play in introducing sustained behaviour change for drivers who consider themselves to be ‘careful and compliant’, bit who (often unconsciously) exceed local speed limits.

TIGER (Trusted GNSS Receiver)

Develop access control token using GNSS-based security technology for applications requiring trusted time- and geo- stamps.

GalileoCast (Innovative Forecast and Broadcast Applications with Galileo

Develop new applications for weather-related mass market services, in particular for mobile and broadcast customers.

MetaPos (MetaPos: a meta-service integrating diverse position determining technologies for LBS)

Develop an intelligent brokerage for location-based services, allowing the automated selection of the appropriate position determining technologies (PDTs) and leverage them for the application at hand.

GRAMMAR (Galileo Ready Advanced Mass MArket Receiver)

Address the gaps identified as obstacles for producing high-quality mass-market GNSS receivers.

GAMMA-(A Galileo Receiver for Mass Market Applications in the Automotive Area)

Develop a two-frequency GALILEO/EGNOS/GPS satellite navigation receiver for automotive applications such as driver assistance systems.

HIMALAYA High performance Mass market GNSS receiver multi standard ready for market

Design and develop a “ready-to-market” single chip receiver for GPS, EGNOS and GALILEO signals. The final product will be ready for the implementation in all battery-powered GNSS devices, particularly mobile phones.

GAGARIN (GAlileo-Glonass Advanced Receiver Integration)

Develop a GALILEO/GLONASS receiver for aeronautical applications in the Russian Federation.

SEAGAL South East Asia centre on European GNSS for international cooperation And Local development

Define an implementation plan for a European GNSS Collaboration Centre in support of educational, commercial and technical needs in South-East Asia.

SARBACAN (SAR BeAcon development with Canada)

Develop a Galileo MEOSAR beacon prototype development for maritime, aviation and personal search-and-rescue operations. The prototypes consist of GNSS receivers embedded in maritime and aviation beacons.

GACELA GALILEO Centre of Excellence for Latin America

Support Latin America’s market for Galileo-based applications and technologies by creating the first Galileo centre of expertise in Argentina.

PEGASE Provision of Expertise to GSA And Support to Enabling activities

Support the management of Galileo FP7 first call projects, provide advice to the GSA, establish advisory expert groups on request, support SMEs as they exploit results, aid in technology transfer, coordinate with national/regional/local initiatives, disseminate information and knowledge, and monitor the European GNSS market.

More information:

GSA Virtual Library
FP7 First Call – winning proposals
FP7 Second Call
FP7 information

Tue, 02/09/2010

The market for satellite-based navigation is growing steadily. This growth will accelerate over the next decade due to the introduction of new navigation systems, in particular Europe’s Galileo. In order to monitor the development of the market for Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and to provide information in support of entrepreneurship, the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) has implemented a market monitoring and forecasting process.

In 2009, the GSA developed and implemented a GNSS market monitoring and forecasting process focussing on four key market segments: Road, Location Based Services (LBS), Aviation and Agriculture. This process was developed with the support of VVA and LECG, two consulting companies expert in market analysis and forecasting. The first top-line results are reported below. More insights will be published in early 2010 and subsequently reported on a regular basis.

In particular, the GSA has created:

  • A GNSS and Galileo Market Model based on solid underlying data, econometric techniques and key assumptions validated by focus groups of experts. This model allows the GSA to estimate the size of the market and simulate different scenarios for the above-mentioned segments.

  • A GNSS and Galileo Public Benefits Model (linked to the former) based on socioeconomic analysis and key assumptions and validated by experts. The model allows the GSA to assess the benefits Galileo will provide to the public sector and to EU citizens by market segment.

Market monitoring and forecasting methodology

The Market Monitoring Model takes as input the data from GSA market studies and reliable industry sources. Moreover, the model is based on a tailor-made selection of econometric techniques. An extensive set of variables are defined by key assumptions on the adoption of GNSS and Galileo. This process allows the simulation of different market scenarios.

These assumptions are the result of an iterative process developed by renowned experts in key areas of each market segment. Additionally, a consistency check was performed for each segment by comparing the model’s results with the most recent reports from independent GNSS market research companies. More information on the assumptions used and the different scenarios simulated will be provided in the first issue of the GSA’s GNSS Market Report, which will be published in the first quarter of 2010.

Galileo to increase the value of the GNSS market

The global market for satellite-based navigation products and services will continue its strong growth, reaching about €250 billion by 2030.

The GSA estimates that Galileo will increase the overall value of the market by about €14 billion over the period 2010-2027 in the four assessed segments.

Almost 60% of the estimated Galileo market-building effect is in the road segment. LBS is the second largest segment, accounting for more than one-third of total revenues.

Within the road segment, the most widespread application is still expected to be car navigation. Other innovative uses of satellite navigation – such as Road User Charging (RUC), Advanced DriverAssistance Systems (ADAS), Pay Per Use Insurance (PPUI) and the monitoring of livestock and dangerous goods transport – are up-and-coming today and will continue to expand in the coming years. These applications will emerge mainly due to Galileo, which will provide unprecedented accuracy, along with integrity information and an authentication function.

Public benefits

The public benefits to the 27 EU Member States from satellite-based navigation are estimated to be over €800 billion during the period 2010-2027. This value does not include some of the major potential benefits, such as employment growth and saved lives, which were estimated on a non-monetary basis.

Meanwhile, the public benefits derived from Galileo are forecast at €58 billion in the 2010-2027 period. The benefits include reduced travel time and fuel consumption, and public expenditures savings due to a reduction in road accidents and injuries, for example.

These public benefits are expected to grow rapidly. The road segment has the potential to reap the largest public benefits from Galileo, accounting for more than 70% of the estimated total. The benefits derive mainly from a reduction in travel time (a result of better navigation), the availability of more devices, better congestion management and the development of intelligent services.

The development of LBS, such as GNSS-assisted medical monitoring and other emergency services, will lead to significant benefits due to the reduction of injuries. In agriculture, the use of more accurate positioning technologies enabled by Galileo will allow rationalisation and increased efficiency in the use of fertilisers and pesticides. In aviation, the integrity information provided by Galileo and EGNOS will increase flight safety and reduce fuel consumption.

Way forward

The satellite-based navigation market is in constant evolution. In order to improve the accuracy of the analyses and forecasts, the GSA’s market monitoring and forecasting process requires a continuous interaction with market players and stakeholders. It also requires the integration of the latest market research data. Over time, the process will cover additional market segments.

The GSA invites all industrial and institutional experts to contribute to the quality of this process and its results. The market forecasts will be published regularly for the benefit of the industry.

About GSA Market Development

The GSA’s Market Development department promotes downstream GNSS market growth through the use of the EU’s EGNOS and Galileo navigation systems, with the aim of contributing to the maximisation of public benefits in the EU. The department continuously monitors GNSS market segments and shares key information with the stakeholders of the Galileo and EGNOS programmes.

A knowledge base has been compiled and is updated through extensive market analysis and research. This is enriched by a large and consistent portfolio of R&D projects under the EU’s 7th Framework

Programme (FP7). In the context of the European Commission’s Applications Action Plan, the Market Development department implements an EGNOS market entry plan, with marketing activities fostering penetration in key market segments, such as agriculture, aviation and road.

About the authors

Boris Kennes is responsible for the coordination of the FP7 projects portfolio and market monitoring.
Reinhard Blasi is responsible for EGNOS Data Access Service (EDAS) beta testing and contributes to market analysis.
François Boullete is responsible for the market monitoring and forecasting process.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you do republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA website (

More information:

For suggestions and more information on the GSA’s market monitoring and forecasting process and other market development activities please contact us by e-mail:

Wed, 02/10/2010

With the handover of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) to the European Community on 1 April, a more accurate satellite location positioning is now publicly available on an “as is” basis.

The milestone was achieved when the European Commission took over ownership of EGNOS’ infrastructure on behalf of the Community from the European Space Agency. It paves the way for EGNOS to begin formal operations later this year.

EGNOS is the precursor of Galileo, the global navigation satellite system being developed by the European Union. EGNOS improves on the positioning accuracy of the US’ GPS satellite navigation signals down to about two metres from ten metres. In addition, EGNOS provides verification of the system’s integrity, a feature necessary to meet the demands of safety-critical applications in sectors such as aviation and maritime.

EGNOS to provide three services

The Commission will provide three EGNOS services: a free Open Service, the Safety-of-Life Service and the EGNOS Data Access System (EDAS).

The free-of-charge Open Service is already available to anyone with an EGNOS-enabled receiver, but comes without any guarantee of service. The Safety-of-Life Service is due to become operational in 2010, after EGNOS is certified as compliant with international satellite navigation standards.

The EDAS commercial data service was launched by the GSA in March 2009 as a free beta test bed for companies. The beta test lasts for 12 months. The ground-based service provides access to EGNOS’ raw location data via a link to a dedicated computer server.

Study underway to extend signal coverage

EGNOS was developed over the past 12 years through a trilateral agreement of ESA, the European Commission and Eurocontrol. About €600 million was invested to develop the system, which involved the participation of private-sector companies throughout Europe.

The system is made up of three geostationary navigation satellites, and a ground network of 40 positioning stations and four control centres. The signal coverage area includes most European states. The Commission is currently studying whether to extend the geographical coverage of the EGNOS signal to regions outside of the EU, including to neighbouring countries and North Africa.

The Commission has assigned the operational management and maintenance of EGNOS to ESSP, a company based in Toulouse, France and founded by seven air navigation service providers: Aena (Spain), DFS (Germany), DSNA (France), ENAV (Italy), NATS (UK), NAV Portugal and Skyguide (Switzerland).

The European Space Agency will maintain its role as EGNOS’ design and procurement agent through a delegation agreement with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Transport and Energy.

EGNOS paves the way for Galileo

“EGNOS is the first concrete example of the European Union's capacity to deliver in the area of satellite navigation,” said European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, the Commissioner for Transport. “In the years to come it will help to pave the way for Galileo, Europe's own global navigation satellite system.”

When it becomes operational, Galileo will provide global autonomous navigation and positioning services through a network of 30 satellites and an associated ground infrastructure. Galileo will also be interoperable with GPS and Russia’s GLONASS satellite navigation system.

More information:

EGNOS Data Access System (EDAS)
EGNOS: Commission takes major step forward in European satellite navigation

Tue, 02/09/2010

The operational launch of EGNOS on 1 October must be followed up by coordinated actions to promote its adoption by the satellite navigation marketplace, says the GSA’s Executive Director Pedro Pedreira.

GSA Executive Director Pedro Pedreira © Ahmed ElAminGSA Executive Director Pedro Pedreira © Ahmed ElAmin

He made his call to action in Brussels on 16 October at the ‘Ambitions of Europe in Space’ conference, noting that estimated benefits worth €800 billion are expected to accrue to the EU’s 27 Member States by 2030 from satellite navigation applications.

European companies already have a prominent foothold in the global market, with the continent hosting one of the two world’s largest personal navigation device (PND) makers and the largest cell phone maker. Galileo and EGNOS will boost that overall market and provide additional public benefits.

“In order to reap the benefits five main lines of action need to be done right,” Pedreira told participants at one of the conference’s main sessions.

For one, all efforts should be made to ensure Galileo is operational within schedule. Staying to the announced schedule will provide credibility to the programme and attract the investment needed for the downstream markets to develop.

Secondly the regulatory frameworks for satellite navigation applications should be in place ahead of operational readiness. A good example is the recently-adopted decision by the Commission prescribing the use of satellite navigation in the European Electronic Tolling System.

The public sector could also lead by example by being more proactive as early adopters of satellite navigation applications. For example, satellite navigation could be used for required land parcel measurements and for environmental surveillance.

Investment for development

In addition, the EU and Europe’s governments need to invest more in the development of satellite-based navigation technologies and applications. The €65 million made available for the first and second calls of Europe’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) generated “overwhelming” interest from industry in co-funding projects, he said.

“For every euro the EU invested in FP7 at least another euro of private capital flows in to this industry,” he said.

Lastly, Pedreira called on officials to constantly promote the use of EGNOS and Galileo in their programmes. Constant promotion helps the public and industry become aware of the possibilities for innovation inherent in satellite navigation applications.

For additional coverage of other speakers at the conference see the main story on the GSA web site.

Media note: This feature can be republished without charge provided the European GNSS Supervisory Authority (GSA) is acknowledged as the source at the top or the bottom of the story. You must request permission before you use any of the photographs on the site. If you do republish, we would be grateful if you could link back to the GSA Web site (

More information:

The Ambitions of Europe in Space Conference