Paris, 06 Jul 2004
Italy takes on a prominent role in European satellite navigation with the opening on 13 July of a master control centre for EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service), the first European satellite navigation system, at the air traffic control centre in Ciampino, near Rome, operated by ENAV, the Italian agency for air navigation services.
EGNOS is the precursor to Galileo, the full global satellite navigation system under development in Europe. When completed at the end of this year, EGNOS will consist of three geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations (nearly 40 will be deployed). These stations will transmit information on the reliability and accuracy of the positioning signals sent out by the systems currently in operation, the US GPS and the Russian GLONASS. EGNOS will allow users in Europe and beyond to determine their position within 2 m, compared to about 20 m with GPS.
After certification, EGNOS will be used for safety-critical applications such as flying aircraft or navigating ships through narrow channels. There will also be many mass-market applications, such as car navigation or bus and truck fleet management, and professional or specific uses, like assistance to blind pedestrians.
The new master control centre in Ciampino is now ready to be operated, along with four facilities deployed in Italy: two ranging and integrity monitoring stations, located in Ciampino and in Catania, Sicily, to pick up GPS signals and deliver them to the control centres for processing, and two "navigation land earth stations", one in Fucino and the other in Scanzano in Sicily, to send EGNOS processed signals to the geostationary satellites, which then relay them back to users' receivers. Other EGNOS facilities deployed so far include two more master control centres, at the German air traffic control centre in Langen, near Frankfurt, and the Spanish air traffic control centre in Torrejón, near Madrid, plus a network of stations across Europe.
With the EGNOS system, Europe transmits a positioning signal through its own network, and receivers can now track it. The Italian facilities are now reinforcing this first step for Europe in satellite navigation, paving the way for Galileo.
EGNOS is a joint project of the European Space Agency, the European Commission and Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation.
Press representatives are invited to the opening of the new master control centre, on 13 July.
Event in Ciampino, Italy
The inauguration of the master control centre for EGNOS in Italy, at the ENAV air traffic control centre in Ciampino, near Rome, takes place on 13 July as from 11h30.
The European Space Agency and ENAV welcome you to this event at:
ENAV Ciampino ACC
Via Appia Nuova, 1491 - 00178 Roma
We would appreciate it if you would reply as soon as possible to ENAV using the attached form, or contact:
Ms. Nicoletta Tomiselli,
For more information on EGNOS:
ESA/ESRIN Communications Office
ESA Navigation Department
Tel :+ 33(0)126.96.36.19926