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Wednesday, January 20, 2021


Added value of EGNOS and Galileo

Europe is developing its own satellite navigation system. Called Galileo, it comprises a constellation of 30 satellites, including 3 spares, and is designed to be superior to GPS in terms of accuracy and the integrity of its navigation signals.

Many commercial GNSS receivers are already capable of receiving both Galileo and GPS signals, which makes it easy to make use of the Galileo system when it delivers Early Services  by late 2014/early 2015.

The use of EGNOS by FieldCopter is a key enabler of its commercial service.  This Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS), which comprises 36 Ranging and Integrity Monitoring Stations across Europe and beyond and 3 geostationary satellites, provides correction signals for GPS users that significantly improve the imagery which, in turn, enhances the quality and speed of the images processing that needs to be done afterwards. 

In addition, the EGNOS signal includes an integrity function that warns when the GPS data is less reliable. This is very important when our UAS is flying on autopilot. In FieldCopter, we use this integrity function to ensure that our UAS stays within pre-defined boundaries. It is very important to ensure the aircraft does not fly beyond its designated ‘territory’ when flying in non-segregated airspace.

Thanks to EGNOS, our UAS will stay inside a pre-defined envelope, which can be communicated to airspace control authorities. The pilot will be warned of compromised navigation quality and can take over control of the UAS and land it safely.

Therefore, EGNOS is an important technology when looking for further integration of UAS in the airspace, particularly when flying at greater altitudes and extended visual line of sight is desired.

In FieldCopter we have developed a unique Payload Management System that does this all and more.


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FieldCopter is carried out in the context of the Galileo FP7 R&D programme supervised by the GSA (Nr. 277612-2).