Thales Alenia Space wins 4-year maintenance contract for Europe’s EGNOS satellite navigation system
January 26, 2023 – Thales Alenia Space, the joint company between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), has signed a contract worth over €100 million with the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) to provide maintenance and other support services for EGNOS V2 (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System) for a period of four years.
The EGNOS system enhances the accuracy, reliability and integrity of positioning signals by improving the performance of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as GPS and, in the future, Galileo. EGNOS’s “Safety of Life” service is used in aviation for landings, enabling precision approaches at European airports without requiring ground guidance systems. This service has significantly improved operational safety and efficiency for the greater benefit of European operators.
Thales Alenia Space will build on its long-standing expertise in the engineering, development, testing and maintenance of the current EGNOS system, along with its development of EGNOS V2, now underway, to provide maintenance of the EGNOS V2 system for EUSPA and the European Union satellite navigation community from 2023 to 2026.
Thales Alenia Space will provide operational support and servicing in case of incidents (especially hardware and software troubleshooting and repairs) to deliver optimal 24/7 support for EGNOS. In addition, it will provide the upgraded or modified versions needed to ensure “Safety Of Life” service.
© Thales Alenia Space
“With the growing use of EGNOS services in Europe, maintaining the System in operational conditions and adapting it to its evolving context is more than ever a fundamental activity for EUSPA. With this new contract, we secure the infrastructure capabilities over the coming years, and we are working closer to the industry to more efficiently answer EGNOS users expectations.” said Jean-Marc Piéplu, EGNOS Exploitation Programme Manager at EUSPA.
“With this latest contract, Thales Alenia Space bolsters its European and export leadership in satellite navigation and supports the success of the EGNOS system in Europe,” said Benoit Broudy, Vice-President, Navigation at Thales Alenia Space in France. “European industry has built up outstanding expertise and credentials in satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS), underpinning the export success of this technology, which has already been deployed in South Korea, Africa and the Indian Ocean.”
EGNOS, one of the European Union’s flagship programs, is a satellite navigation system designed to improve positioning signals delivered by GPS (Global Positioning System) and, in the future, Galileo. First deployed in 2005 and providing operational “open” service since 2009, the current EGNOS system was developed by Thales Alenia Space as prime contractor and is managed by the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA).
“Safety of Life” service, an export success
The “Safety of Life” service provided by EGNOS is used in aviation for the landing phase, where it enables precision approaches to airports without requiring ground guidance systems. Building on its expertise in this sector, Thales Alenia Space was chosen by the Korean Space Agency to supply the Korean Augmentation Satellite System (KASS). The first signals from space were successfully transmitted in December 2022 and initial measurements demonstrate very good performance. Initially, Korea’s KASS regional system will be applied to aviation via the “Safety of Life” navigation service. It delivers critical help during certain flight phases, especially landings, without requiring ground infrastructure in airports.
In early 2019, ASECNA (Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar) chose Thales Alenia Space to carry out a Phase B project for an SBAS in sub-Saharan Africa, including delivery of a pre-operational service in 2020, to provide an optimized satellite solution that supports major traffic growth in this area. Nigerian operator NIGCOMSAT and Thales Alenia Space performed successful demonstration flights in Lomé and Douala in 2021, using the SBAS signal they have transmitted in the Africa and Indian Ocean region since September 2020 – the first SBAS service provided in this region, via the NIGCOMSAT-1R satellite. They also carried out a series of demonstrations of additional services provided by the A-SBAS system in Brazzaville, Congo. The next demonstration is scheduled for February 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria.
About the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA)The European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) provides safe and secure European satellite navigation services, promotes the commercialization of Galileo, EGNOS, and Copernicus data and services and coordinates the EU’s forthcoming governmental satellite communications programme GOVSATCOM. EUSPA is responsible for the security accreditation of all the EU Space Programme components. By fostering the development of an innovative and competitive space sector and engaging with the entire EU Space community, EUSPA contributes to the European Green Deal and digital transition, the safety and security of the Union and its citizens, while reinforcing its autonomy and resilience.
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ABOUT THALES ALENIA SPACE
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 2.15 billion euros in 2021 and has around 8,000 employees in 10 countries with 17 sites in Europe and a plant in the US.
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