There is already a European navigation Signal-in-Space that can be used. EGNOS, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, which is currently in a pre-operational phase, has an average availability above 95% and, for example in March 2007, the availability was well above 99%.
To help people use this service, which is Europe’s first step in satellite navigation and is paving the way for Galileo, ESA is launching a new tool for learning about EGNOS. The ‘Learning EGNOS’ website offers instructional materials and software for future satellite navigation professionals.
Part of ESA’s ‘EGNOS for Professionals’ website, the new ‘Learning EGNOS’ site offers a one-stop-shop for the instructional software, real-time data and publications on Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBASs) offered by the Agency.
The most recent software offering, SBAS Teacher, allows the decoding of the 250-bit SBAS messages transmitted by EGNOS and the systems that interoperate with it. New messages may also be encoded using the tool, allowing the user to experiment with and fully understand the structure of the messages.
SISNeT User Application Software
Released in late 2006, the SISNeT User Application Software allows the various message types broadcast by EGNOS to be viewed in real time. SISNeT, the Signal-in-Space through Internet service, is a way of receiving EGNOS data at locations where the geostationary satellites transmitting the EGNOS signal are not visible.
As well as augmenting the EGNOS service to cover locations that do not have line-of-sight to the satellites, SISNeT allows the study of EGNOS signals without an SBAS receiver – only an internet connection is required.
SISNeTlab is a software tool that allows users to quickly and easily assess the performance of various SBAS systems. It gives the user access to a wide variety of functions and the graphs produced can help with comparing and better understanding the different SBAS systems.
The ESA SISNeTlab software has been developed by ESA engineers as a tool that can serve a wide user community of students, research scientists, Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and engineers involved in the development and exploitation of the various SBAS systems.
EGNOS for users
With these new tools and a dedicated website, the ESA EGNOS team aims to make EGNOS more accessible to all potential users and also easy to understand.
EGNOS is a joint programme of ESA, the European Commission and Eurocontrol - the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation. EGNOS is currently in its pre-operational phase.