Paris International Air Show, held in Le Bourget, is the largest air show in the world and the favoured exhibition site of the aviation industry’s top players. The biennial event attracts more than 2,000 exhibitors from around the world, nearly 300 official delegations and 150,000 trade visitors. Even in sweltering temperatures, Bourget was buzzing, with thousands queuing to see the latest aircraft and innovations.
At the Paris Air Show, GSA presented projects that make use of Galileo and EGNOS. Chair of the European GNSS Agency’s (GSA) Administrative Board and President of the CNES (the French Space Agency) and France’s Inter-Ministerial Co-ordinator for European satellite navigation programmes Jean-Yves Le Gall said: “The GSA is the flagship of the European Union in space with its Galileo and EGNOS projects. GSA has a key place here because space issues are very prominent at this show.” He added: “We are entering into a new era with new facilities to operate Galileo.”
“Now, we are responsible for the exploitation of EGNOS and Galileo,” confirmed GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “Our mission is to link with users’ needs and the Aviation stakeholders are largely using our European space technology; we have permanent interactions with them.”
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Patrice Roquette from Airbus spoke about how the Airbus A350-900 had adopted EGNOS for the European Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) technology: “We are moving more and more towards SBAS. With our latest aircraft models, we use EGNOS technology. This is more and more important for our clients.”
Pilots adapt quickly to EGNOS
The LPV-200 service developed under EGNOS enables aircraft-approach procedures of the highest standard, without requiring visual contact with the ground before they are as low as 200 feet. Increasingly, airports are adopting LPV-200. Roquette said: “Airbus would like to see more and more airports adopt the LPV-200. It would be great if the airports could develop more LPV approaches, since the aircrafts now have this capability.”
Also read: AERO 2017 show EGNOS benefits
GSA also presented two exciting projects on Galileo search-and-rescue that also receive financial support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Development programme: GRICAS and Helios. These projects were developed in response to recent accidents, including Malaysian Airways flight MH370 where it proved almost impossible to locate the downed aircraft. Both projects have developed solutions for in-flight distress tracking and signalling.
MISTRALE, a project funded by GSA under Horizon 2020, exhibited their project that uses Galileo to assess moisture content in soil for farmers and water managers. MISTRALE makes a soil-moisture content map using a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) with a GNSS measurement device. Besides soil-moisture maps, MISTRALE can also produce maps of water logging, flooding extent and other soil-moisture related information products.
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