Serving as an augmentation, or overlay, to a global navigation satellite system (GNSS) message, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) improves the accuracy and reliability of GNSS positioning information, and provides a crucial integrity message regarding the continuity and availability of the signal. Because of this accuracy and reliability, EGNOS has proven essential for a range of applications across numerous market segments, as can be seen below.
EGNOS offers an affordable solution for precision agriculture, enabling farmers to optimise yields, increase labour productivity and reduce driver fatigue – all with minimal investment. EGNOS supports machinery guidance solutions with sub-metre level accuracy, which is suitable for the cultivation of such basic-value crops as cereals. It also enables more efficient management of farming activities such as spreading, spraying and harvesting. In other words, EGNOS provides advantages to both farmers (higher profit margins) and society (increased food supply and more environmentally friendly agriculture).
An increased number of European regional, business and general aviation operators are equipping their aircraft with EGNOS-enabled avionics, allowing them to take advantage of already published procedures. Furthermore, with the advent of Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/539 of 6 April 2016, which places EGNOS approach procedures on the private pilot licence course, localiser performance with vertical guidance (LPV) is on track to become a widely deployed procedure.
With LPV-200, which delivers accurate information on an aircraft’s approach to a runway with the use of GNSS positioning, an aircraft can make a final approach without the need for visual contact with the ground until it is 200 feet above the runway. The free-to-use LPV-200 represents a key milestone in the development of EGNOS.
Location-based services (LBS)
EGNOS improves the accuracy of GNSS signals, mostly by reducing the negative impact of ionosphere on the calculated position. This results in it benefiting consumer applications that make use of more accurate location information, especially in remote areas where network-based methods are less effective.
Mapping and Surveying
By providing sub-metre-level accuracy with minimal investment, EGNOS is a cost-effective, entry-level solution for the mapping and surveying sector. It satisfies the needs of mapping applications requiring enhanced GNSS positioning by providing added value – free of charge. As a result, municipalities, forestry authorities, utilities and other users are benefiting from EGNOS performance in mapping.
EGNOS is already supporting navigation and positioning applications, both at sea and on inland waterways, complementing differential GNSS (DGNSS) infrastructure. Trials conducted by the European Commission demonstrated EGNOS compatibility with such International Maritime Organisation (IMO) requirements as accuracy requirements for coastal navigation and horizontal alert limit requirements for navigation areas outside ports. The benefits of EGNOS are also leveraged in Automatic Identification System search and rescue transponder (AIS SART) beacons, where increased positioning accuracy and reliability can have a real impact on search and rescue operations. EGNOS connections can also be transmitted via AIS in harsh environments, thus contributing to increased safety and social benefits.
Thanks to its capability for both improving the accuracy of the positioning solution and providing integrity information, EGNOS permits the determination of train locations without the need for dense trackside infrastructure. Investigations are currently ongoing to characterise the expected level of performance for rail applications by using GNSS with EGNOS augmentation – specifically for safety-relevant applications. In the meantime, EGNOS is starting to be used for some of the non-safety relevant applications, such as transit signal priority.
EGNOS improves the accuracy of GNSS signals and provides information on the reliability of the positioning information. As a result, there are national road user charging (RUC) schemes already using or considering the use of EGNOS. Furthermore, EGNOS is being used across various initiatives to track dangerous goods and to support the localisation of vehicles within the pan-European eCall initiative.
Timing and synchronisation
Computer and telecommunication networks around the world need extremely accurate clock references. EGNOS broadcasts the reliable time standard with the unprecedented accuracy that these networks demand.