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Thales Alenia Space entrusted by ESA to build a prototype of the next generation of ground station for the European satellite navigation system EGNOS

To support critical positioning applications and increase signal performances and integrity

Cannes, September 27, 2021 - Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %), has been selected by ESA in the frame of the Horizon 2020 program, for a new contract to design and develop a prototype of the next generation of ground station for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), called NLES-Next (Navigation Land Earth Station).

The NLES is the EGNOS uplink station endorsing the task of EGNOS Signal In Space generation that is used by EGNOS to support critical positioning applications like aircraft navigation and landing. This element is a major contributor to the overall EGNOS system performances.

In the fast evolving and increasingly challenging positioning applications that could benefit from EGNOS capabilities, the NLES modernization is a key enabler.

Through this contract, Thales Alenia Space will offer a new generation NLES prototype embracing modularity, flexibility, scalability, and a high level of segregation to incrementally support new services like EGNOS data authentication or Integrity for High Accuracy Service. It will also exhibit boosted robustness at cyber security, and SiS levels to face new threats sources, thus unlocking the potential of the overall system to support a wide range of applications: from civil aviation, to rail, road, maritime, and from Safety of Life (SoL) service to non-SoL service.


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 and is managed by EUSPA since 2014.


Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 1.850 billion euros in 2020 and has around 7,700 employees in 10 countries with 17 sites in Europe and a plant in the US.



Sandrine Bielecki    
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Catherine des Arcis    
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Marija Kovac                  
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