You are here


IALA publishes guidelines on using EGNOS for maritime navigation

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The new guidelines aim to foster safer and more efficient maritime travel through the use of satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS). 

Several years ago, the European GNSS Agency (GSA) became a member of the International Association of Maritime Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA). Since then, they have worked together to strengthen dialogue with the maritime sector and better respond to segment-specific requirements and needs.

Today, this work is paying off.

With the aim of fostering safer and more efficient maritime travel through the use of improved and harmonised navigation aids, earlier this month the IALA published Guidelines G-1129 on the Retransmission of SBAS Corrections using MF-Radiobeacon and AIS. “This is a major outcome of the work done by the GSA, who has worked closely with other organisations and the IALA eNav Committee to make this happen,” says GSA Head of Market Development Gian-Gherardo Calini. “The benefits offered by European GNSS, and in particular EGNOS, make a strong case for the integration of these services in multi-system receivers and for an enhanced overall maritime EGNSS market option.”

EGNOS complements marine radio beacon DGNSS

Although GNSS has become the primary means of obtaining Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) information at sea, augmentation is required to ensure that the necessary level of integrity is achieved and accuracies improved over the use of GNSS alone. While such ground-based augmentation systems as marine radio beacon DGNSS have been in use for some time, recent developments enable SBAS, including EGNOS, to be considered for maritime use. Originally developed for aviation users, the use of SBAS by the maritime sector is increasing and these guidelines aim to serve as the cornerstone for its adoption by the sector.

The guidelines provide information for any maritime authority wishing to understand where SBAS information could be used to support the mariner and how to employ such data. While it is expected that mariners will use SBAS directly from Signal in Space (SiS), the document’s main purpose is to describe SBAS use within augmentation services via marine radio beacon and Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmissions. Although the document aims to consider common SBAS functionality, it does refer to specific SBAS services such as EGNOS. Here it includes a detailed explanation on how to transmit differential corrections and local integrity checks for satellite navigation data using the EGNOS Data Access Service (EDAS) via IALA beacons and existing AIS shore stations.

“As the reliance on GNSS increases and  there are indications that the use of so-called traditional navigation skills decreases, the IALA is very keen to establish GNSS backup,” says the IALA Secretary General Francis Zachariae. “These guidelines highlight the options that we feel provide the necessary level of availability, accuracy, continuity and integrity.”


The guidelines can be downloaded free here