The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has selected Eutelsat Communications for the development, integration and operation of its next-generation EGNOS GEO-4 service.
The contract agreed between Eutelsat and GSA covers 15 years of service provision and represents a total value of €100m, of which €85m subject to the confirmation of funds allocated to the EGNOS programme from the European Union budget for the period 2021-2027.
EGNOS is the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service that acts as an augmentation service to global positioning systems, to improve the reliability of positioning information. This is ensured by a crucial integrity message which is essential in aviation where the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) alone does not satisfy strict operational requirements set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). It is especially important during critical flight stages such as the final approach. Other transport means including maritime and rail benefit from this EGNOS Safety of Life service. EGNOS also increases the positioning accuracy for other land-based applications, notably precision farming, geomatics, and land management.
Eutelsat already operates the EGNOS GEO-3 payload on its EUTELSAT 5 West B satellite which entered into service in February 2020. Built by Airbus Defence and Space, EUTELSAT HOTBIRD 13G satellite, which will host the EGNOS GEO-4 payload, is scheduled to be launched in the first half of 2022.
Commenting on the agreement, Rodolphe Belmer, Chief Executive Officer of Eutelsat said: “We are delighted to have been entrusted once again by the GSA for this critical mission. It showcases the unparalleled coverage of our fleet as well as our technological expertise and reliability. Space technology continues to change the way we live, and we are delighted to support the GSA to ensure that European citizens get the most out of satellite navigation programs. We are looking forward to collaborating on other projects of this nature with GSA.”
Rodrigo da Costa, GSA Executive Director added: “The GSA has awarded Eutelsat the EGNOS GEO-4 contract to manage this important payload that enhances the GSA’s core mission to deliver reliable and secure space-based services. Along with delivering economic benefits to innovative service providers and related businesses, satellite navigation is changing how we manage the mobility, safety and security of people and goods for Europe and beyond in fundamental ways.”