EGNOS performance tested for shipping use

15 November 2012
By IET Transport editor
Mobile version
Share |
Research vessel RV Belgica

Research vessel RV Belgica

European researchers are investigating whether a system that enhances the accuracy of satnav for aviation could also be used reliably at sea.

Results gathered by Belgium’s RV Belgica research vessel are being used to chart the maritime performance of Europe’s EGNOS satnav overlay service, which augments GPS data.

The Belgica is an all-purpose oceanographic research ship that spends around 200 days a year at sea, serving as a floating laboratory for Belgian universities and research institutes. Mainly operating in the southern North Sea, it is run by the Belgian Navy on behalf of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

The ship has been fitted with a set of three receivers to pick up signals from EGNOS, and also from Galileo.

The third and fourth European Galileo satellites were launched in October, making it possible to validate the system’s positioning capability (which requires data from at least three satellites) before the rest of the constellation is deployed in the next few years.

“The receivers are continuously logging satnav signals, so that we can see the system performance during different sea conditions, while the ship is moving or stationary and out to sea or approaching harbour,” explained Massimo Crisci of ESA’s Radio Navigation Section.

“We’re interested in learning how the signals reflect – an unwanted effect known as ‘multipath’ – off the sea or from harbour infrastructure or nearby ships,” added fellow researcher David Jimenez-Baños. “Then close to shore there is also the potential for interference from local ship-tracking radar.

“What is crucial for EGNOS is to have an assurance of accuracy – what is the level of trust a user can have in the service?”

Covering all European territory via a trio of geostationary satellite transponders, EGNOS sharpens the accuracy of GPS signals. It corrects for interference from the electrically active ionosphere and adds information on reliability for a range of general and safety-critical uses across the continent.

Designed by ESA, the European Commission and Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, EGNOS is now available for guiding aircraft approaches to airport runways and can also be used for surface transport on land and sea.

This is the first systematic long-term study of EGNOS’s performance at sea. The investigation is using one commercial receiver, from Septentrio Satellite Navigation in Belgium, with two others developed by the research team.

The Belgica’s duties can take it into difficult environments for signal reception, such as near offshore wind farms.

The receivers have been put in place for a year under a cooperative data-sharing arrangement, with the potential for extension.

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1607

"As the dust settles after the referendum result, we consider what happens next. We also look forward to an international summer of sport."

E&T jobs

  • Digital Forensic Specialist (Audio)

    Met Police
    • London
    • Circa £37,305 plus £3,406 location allowance

    You’ll contribute to a wide range of research and development activities.

    • Recruiter: Met Police

    Apply for this job

  • MetOp-SG Receiver Project Manager

    Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
    • STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire
    • £37,213 - £50,926 (depending on experience)

    Project Manager to oversee the development, production and test of spaceflight components and integrated receiver systems

    • Recruiter: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

    Apply for this job

  • Systems Engineer

    Reaction Engines Ltd
    • Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    • Competitive + Benefits

    Perform general systems engineering tasks as necessary with specific focus on electronic systems and instrumentation.

    • Recruiter: Reaction Engines Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Production Manager

    Reaction Engines Ltd
    • Abingdon, Oxfordshire
    • Competitive + Benefits

    An amazing opportunity to plan, direct and coordinate all manufacturing operations and activities in line with company strategy and business plan.

    • Recruiter: Reaction Engines Ltd

    Apply for this job

  • Navigation Sensors Principle Engineer

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive Salary & Benefits

    What?s the opportunity? An exciting opportunity has arisen in a rapidly evolving international team with increasing capabilities.  The Navigation Sensors Group is responsible for the...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Technology Manager - External Communications

    BAE Systems
    • Frimley, England, Surrey
    • Negotiable

    Technology Manager - External Communications Would you like Lead the technical delivery of the External Communications System (ECS) capability sustainment & evolution projects within the common ECS (cECS) Baseline Design Management (BDM) programme? Th

    • Recruiter: BAE Systems

    Apply for this job

  • Graduate Process Engineer

    EFFECT Photonics
    • Brixham, Devon
    • £20,000 to £25,000

    Join our exciting journey to deliver new standards in the availability of data bandwidth.

    • Recruiter: EFFECT Photonics

    Apply for this job

  • Senior Principal Materials Engineer

    MBDA
    • Stevenage
    • Competitive salary & benefits

    What?s the opportunity? A fantastic opportunity has arisen for an experienced materials engineer/scientist specialising in non-metallic materials and processing. You will be given responsibility for...

    • Recruiter: MBDA

    Apply for this job

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate

    The University of Liverpool
    • Liverpool, Merseyside
    • £32,600 - £37,768 pa

    Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in a brand new area of communications.

    • Recruiter: The University of Liverpool

    Apply for this job

  • Test Engineering Opportunities

    HMGCC
    • Hanslope Park, Milton Keynes
    • Salary offered will depend on skills and experience

    Push incredible innovations beyond their limits. Opportunities for Software, Hardware, EMC, Test and Inspection Engineers!

    • Recruiter: HMGCC

    Apply for this job

More jobs ▶

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T