Thales Alenia Space has signed a €54.5 M contract with the European Space Agency (ESA), acting on behalf of the European Commission, to supply a new version of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS), incorporating improvements that are indispensable for enhanced operability. The 28-month contract will upgrade critical subsystems that had become obsolete, and provide significant improvements in the operation and extension of the system.

EGNOS is a European system that is designed to improve the positioning information provided by GPS. It comprises a network of 38 reference stations, a data processing center, six uplink stations to send data to three geostationary satellites, and a control-command station.

EGNOS has been deployed since 2005 and has been operational in ‘open service’ configuration since 2009. Its ‘Safety of Life’ service was formally declared available in March 2011, enabling it to be used during the landing phase for civil aircraft, so that they can carry out precision approaches at European airports without ground guiding equipment.

Thales Alenia Space believes that winning this contract is clear recognition of its expertise in the design and integration of satellite navigation systems – skills that the company has built up over the last 15 years.