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EGNOS goes live

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 1 Oct 2009

pocketgpsworld.comAt a press conference today, European Commission Vice-President for Transport Policy, Mr Antonia Tajani, announced the official start of EGNOS operations.

EGNOS (the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) has been operating in a test phase since 2006 and the news that it is at last available to all users with EGNOS compatible GPS receivers is long overdue.

American users have had their equivalent service WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation Service) for some time and the Japanese are developing their version called MFAS (Multi-Functional Satellite Augmentation System).

EGNOS uses an augmentation system consisting of transponders aboard three geostationary satellites in position over Europe and the Eastern Atlantic. These satellites are linked to a network of 40 ground stations and four control centres.

EGNOS improves GPS accuracy from approx 20m to close to 2m and the open service is provided free of charge.

Developed as a pan-European project between ESA, the European Commission and Eurocontrol. The European Commission is responsible for management of the service.
Posted by NickG on Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:49 am Reply with quote

So, have receivers already been taking advantage of Egnos, or were they waiting for the "test bit" to be turned off and the signal to go live? Do things like SirfStarIII, MBlox, and iPhone chipset support this channel?

Twitter: @nickg_uk

Posted by Darren on Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:40 am Reply with quote

Many chipsets have been able to take advantage but most were software disabled. Garmins have been able to make use of WAAS & EGNOS for some time but the service was intermittent and unreliable (EGNOS that is).

I don't have a list of what supports it but currently I'd expect only devices such as handhelds and some BT GPS receivers. Hopefully now it's live we can expect all devices to take advantage of the additional accuracy now available.

Darren Griffin - Editor

Posted by Wazza_G on Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:57 am Reply with quote

Do you reckon that TomTom will release a firmware to take advantage of the new system?

I hope so.

Be alert.. This country needs more lerts.

Posted by PaulB2005 on Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:04 pm Reply with quote

Looks like the Columbus V-900 used a by few people here is EGNOS capable.

Posted by Duddy on Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:26 pm Reply with quote

Wazza_G Wrote:
Do you reckon that TomTom will release a firmware to take advantage of the new system?

I hope so.

Optimist. Do you believe in flying pigs as well.

HUAWEI P30 Pro (new edition) with Speedtrap Alert & alcatel1 for SatNav
CoPilot 10 with CamerAlert
RoadHawk in-car video
Reading glasses getting thicker as is my waist
Retired but want to go back to work for a rest.

Posted by pcaouolte on Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:49 pm Reply with quote

Would it, in practice, make any difference to a tomtom? The tomtom software 'snaps' your location to the nearest road and in my experience almost always picks the correct one.
The EGNOS system uses geostationary satelites located over the equator, these appear fairly low in the sky in the UK and would be more easily blocked by high buildings than the GPS satelites which orbit from pole to pole.


Posted by Darren on Fri Oct 02, 2009 4:17 pm Reply with quote

Whilst the EGNOS SV's are on the equator they have coverage that should be more than good enough to reach even the farthest Norther parts of the UK.

But EGNOS is intended for aviation, not hikers, mariners or car drivers and so any benefits of the increased accuracy are of little relevance to vehicle satnav.

Darren Griffin - Editor

Posted by oxford_guy on Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:13 pm Reply with quote

In theory my Garmin eTrex Vista Hcx supports Egnos (there is a setting to turn it on), does this announcement mean I will now be able to benefit from this without a firmware update (am on firmware 3.1)? Thanks

Posted by Darren on Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:15 pm Reply with quote


Darren Griffin - Editor

Posted by PaulB2005 on Fri Oct 02, 2009 5:30 pm Reply with quote

As does / did my Streetpilot i3 but not my TT740 (apparently). Not sure about the 765.

Posted by mhb on Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:49 am Reply with quote

As far as MemoryMap is concerned, I have noticed that since EGNOS became fully functional, when leaving my device in a static position for sometime, the current position indicator red circle no longer moves around on the map to the same extent that it used to. Now I have only had chance to test this twice so far so obviously this phenomenon could be caused by many other factors. However could this be the result of better accuracy using EGNOS? The GPS chip used is the Sirf 3.

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