The GEO-3 payload of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS), hosted aboard the EUTELSAT 5 West B satellite, has successfully entered into service. The satellite was successfully launched on a Proton M/Breeze M launch vehicle from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on 9 October last year.
EUTELSAT 5 West B is hosting the Eutelsat-procured EGNOS payload under an 18-year agreement with the European GNSS Agency (GSA). The contract also includes technical services and European ground infrastructure, including two gateways installed at Eutelsat’s Rambouillet and Cagliari teleports.
“With this new payload in service, EGNOS is moving on towards the transition to its new generation,” said Pascal Claudel, GSA Acting Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. “Delivery and continuity of satellite service are part of our mission as delegated by the European Commission. It is essential that we, at the GSA, are providing these services to support economic growth and to ensure that the European Union’s citizens and companies can benefit from the latest GNSS technology,” he said.
The next generation of EGNOS - EGNOS V3 - will augment both GPS and Galileo in the L1 and L5 bands. It will also provide additional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) service capabilities through a new SBAS channel on L5 and will deliver increased EGNOS service availability within and beyond the EU, supporting a growing number of users.
"Eutelsat is proud of its collaboration with its customer GSA, its partners including the European Space Agency, and its suppliers, culminating in the entry into service of this next generation technology of EGNOS on EUTELSAT 5 West B,” said Eutelsat’s Deputy CEO and Chief Technical Officer Yohann Leroy. “We are delighted to host this payload, which will significantly enhance the performance of global navigation satellite systems across Europe, notably Galileo, in the coming years.”
The GSA signed a contract with Eutelsat Communications in March 2017 for the development, integration and operation of the next-generation EGNOS payload. The contract covers the preparation and service provision phases of EGNOS GEO-3 and ensures the continuous availability of the EGNOS Signal in Space (SIS) and a smooth transition from EGNOS V2.
EGNOS is Europe's regional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS). It is currently used to improve the performance of GPS and will augment Galileo from 2025 onwards. EGNOS was deployed to provide safety of life navigation services to aviation, maritime and land-based users.
EGNOS uses GNSS measurements taken by reference stations deployed mainly across Europe and North Africa. These measurements are transferred to a central computing centre where differential corrections and integrity messages are calculated. These calculations are then broadcast over the covered area using geostationary satellites that serve as an augmentation, or overlay, to the original GNSS message.