The multi-agency team behind the ESA-designed EGNOS augmentation system has received a prestigious award from France’s national aerospace academy.
The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) improves the precision of US GPS signals over most European territory, while also providing continuous and reliable updates on their integrity.
Didier Flament, heading ESA’s EGNOS division, joined Mariluz de Mateo of Spain’s ENAIRE air traffic management agency, working on Europe’s Single European Sky Traffic Management Research (SESAR), and Jean-Marc Pieplu, overseeing EGNOS exploitation at the European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency (GSA) in receiving Vermeil Medals from the Académie de l’Air et de l’Espace in Toulouse, France.
The medals were awarded to the trio during the annual Séance Solennelle de l’AAE on 25 November.
Flament said: “This award recognises the success of the EGNOS programme.
“It has been a long-term effort, which began with a first demonstration step called European Complement to GPS, studied and implemented by CNES, French Civil Aviation and the ONERA national aerospace research centre between 1987 and 1995.
“This was then followed by the European ESA ARTES-9 programme which started 20 years ago this year. So beyond the three nominees, the award goes to the various teams from ESA, CNES, civil aviation agencies and industry which have contributed to its success.”
According to Eurocontrol more than 170 European airports in 19 countries use EGNOS, projected to increase to 346 in 25 states by 2020.
Following its initial design and development by ESA, ownership of the EGNOS system was passed to the European Commission in March 2009.