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Australia and New Zealand to benefit from European advances in satnav

Stephen Kuper

Australia and New Zealand are positioned to gain the benefits of major advances in Europe’s satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) EGNOS, after the announcement of a significant upgrade to be delivered by Thales Alenia Space.

Australia and New Zealand to benefit from European advances in satnav
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The $127 million upgrade will expand the EGNOS SBAS coverage zone, see the installation of a new generation of reference stations (RIMS), improved algorithms in the computation centre (CPF) to boost performance, and enhanced system security. Certification and commissioning of the new service is slated for 2023.

Thales Alenia Space vice president of navigation Benoit Broudy said the company was committed to delivering the latest generation system to Australia should it be selected to deliver Australia and New Zealand’s SBAS for enhanced global positioning.

"The new version will bring significant benefits for regional aviation in Australia and New Zealand along with broader industry benefits across many sectors, from mining and resources to agriculture and transport," Broudy said. 

The EGNOS system 'Safety of Life' service enables aircraft to make precision approaches for landing without requiring ground-based landing aids. In addition to providing the service in Europe, Thales Alenia Space is delivering the Korean Augmentation Satellite System (KASS) and SBAS for parts of Africa.

Thales Australia chief executive Chris Jenkins said Thales has a well-established presence in Australia and proven performance in delivering complex, mission critical systems in the defence and transport sectors, and for export.

"Our record is one of long-term investment in Australia’s advanced technology sector through technology transfer, collaboration with research agencies and Australian SMEs. We are excited about the opportunities to help build Australia’s space industry capability through world leading SBAS technology in line with the statement of strategic intent signed with the Australian Space Agency," Jenkins explained. 

EGNOS, flagship program of the European Union, is the European satellite navigation system, designed to improve positioning messages from GPS (global positioning system). First deployed in 2005, with its open service operational since 2009, the current EGNOS system was developed by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor.

Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures.

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