European GPS Overlay Ready for Operations
PARIS — Europe’s regional system offering verification and enhancement of GPS timing and navigation satellite signals was declared ready for use Oct. 1 for its freely accessible service, with higher-reliability versions scheduled to be added in 2010.
The European GPS Navigation Overlay Service, Egnos, uses navigation terminals on two satellites and the European Space Agency’s Artemis spacecraft — all in geostationary orbit — to augment GPS performance. Similar regional systems have been built in the United States and in Japan.
The European Commission, which has taken charge of Egnos deployment and views it as a precursor for Europe’s GPS equivalent, called Galileo, expects that Egnos’ safety-of-life service will be ready for use in 2010. It too will be available free of charge.