The European GNSS Agency (GSA) has signed a contract with Eutelsat Communications for the development, integration and operation of the next-generation EGNOS payload.
The 18-year, EUR 102 million contract with Eutelsat Communications covers the preparation and service provision phases of the EGNOS Geostationary (GEO) space-based augmentation system (SBAS) payload service (GEO-3). As the first step towards implementing EGNOS version 3 (V3), the contract ensures the continuous availability of the EGNOS Signal in Space (SIS) and smooth transition from EGNOS V2 to EGNOS V3.
“The award of the GEO-3 contract to Eutelsat marks an important milestone for the development of EGNOS V3,” says GSA Executive Director Carlo des Dorides. “This major technological evolution will bring better accuracy and improved resilience to EGNOS performance.”
EGNOS operational messages are currently broadcast via navigation payloads on-board two GEO satellites, including an Inmarsat-3F2 satellite that is fast approaching end-of-life. The GEO-3 services will replenish the EGNOS SBAS payloads, guaranteeing EGNOS SIS availability and supporting the transition to the dual-frequency multi-constellation-capable EGNOS V3.
The procurement process was a cooperative effort by the GSA and the European Space Agency (ESA), with the ESA responsible for the technical requirements of the service preparation phase and the GSA for the service provision phase. The ESA will continue to provide the GSA with technical support during the development of GEO-3.
Service provider responsibilities
As the GEO-3 service provider, Eutelsat will be responsible for:
- developing an EGNOS SBAS payload
- integrating the payload on-board a GEO satellite
- organising the GEO satellite’s launch and positioning
- ensuring the EGNOS message is relayed to the end-user.
The satellite’s commercial Ku-band and EGNOS payload will be manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, while Orbital ATK will build the platform. The payload will be hosted on the Eutelsat 5 West B satellite, scheduled to launch in late 2018. Services will begin in 2019 and last 15 years.
Eutelsat will also develop two redundant radio frequency (RF) ground stations to uplink the EGNOS message to the payload. It will also host EGNOS’ Navigation Land Earth Stations (NLES) in Rambouillet (France) and Cagliari (Italy), both of which will be co-located and connected to the RF ground stations.
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