More GPS receivers will now be able to benefit from the navigation augmentation signals broadcast by the EGNOS System Test Bed thanks to a change of format made yesterday.
EGNOS (the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) is a joint project of the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission (EC) and Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation.
Though currently the system is still in its test bed phase, people equipped with GPS/SBAS receivers can already experience the improved accuracy obtainable when applying the differential corrections broadcasted by ESTB.
In order to improve interoperability with other navigation systems the ESTB (EGNOS System Test Bed) signal was switched to SBAS (Satellite Based Augmentation System) mode 0/2 format at 07:30 UTC yesterday. This means that the format now adopted follows the standard commonly used all over the world. This new signal format allows the GPS/SBAS receivers available on the market with only the 0/2 format implemented, to process the EGNOS test signals.
The new signal format is still only broadcasting test signals and is therefore not yet suitable for safety critical applications. However, with their GPS/SBAS receiver, users can finally obtain both WAAS corrections (in the USA) and EGNOS System Test Bed corrections (in Europe). This replicates exactly what will happen when all the SBAS systems are declared operational: a seamless augmentation service to GPS.