Support to the air transport sector and satellite service applications

JPO participates in SBAS interoperability working group meeting in China

JPO has participated in the 30th meeting of the Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) Interoperability Working Group (IWG-30) in Changsha, Hunan, China. This biannual IWG meeting took place on 16-17 May 2016.

The main objective of the IWG meetings is to ensure the seamless use of SBAS services through interoperable SBAS, based on common SBAS standards. The meeting gathered representatives from nine SBAS2 projects worldwide. This increased participation demonstrates growing interest in SBAS. Among the African stakeholders representing ongoing SBAS projects in Africa were the EGNOS in Africa Joint Programme Office (JPO) and ASECNA (Agence pour la Sécurité de la Navigation Aérienne en Afrique et à Madagascar)3, a leading Air Navigation Service Provider covering 17 states in Africa. The agenda of this 30th meeting covered various issues regarding the harmonisation of SBAS modernisation plans, SBAS standards, R&D cooperation on key SBAS technologies, and joint SBAS promotion activities.

During the meeting, important information was shared regarding ongoing improvements in global navigation satellite system (GNSS) constellations and progress on the SBAS programmes. Regarding the (GNSS) constellations, the launch of GPS Block IIF satellites, which are all in active service, and six satellites to be launched in 2016 for GALILEO were reported. The current status of the Chinese BeiDou programme and the ongoing works on the Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) were also provided.

Regarding the SBAS programmes, the European Union (EU) informed the meeting that the EGNOS4 LPV-200 service was declared on 29 September 2015 with the first LPV-200 approaches flown on 3 May 2016. The EU also reported an increased number of LPV procedures implemented in Europe, currently totalling 261 and supporting 153 airports. Furthermore, the EU announced potential early service capability for Category-1 (10-metre Vertical Alert Limit) service with partial GPS and Galileo constellations based on its planned EGNOS V3 with Dual Frequency Multiple Constellation (DFMC) SBAS capability. In the meantime, EGNOS V2 evolutions will continue with v2.4.2, which will have two releases in 2019 and 2020. The status and modernization plans of the SBAS and GNSS programmes were also provided with regard to MSAS-JAPAN, GAGAN-India, BDSBAS- China and KASS-Korea.

Regarding the SBAS programmes in Africa, it was indicated that the ASECNA Programme includes ownership and provision for a system able to support RNP APCH operations with limited L1 capability in 2019/2020 and L1/L5 capability in 2023. In addition, ASECNA reported that the ‘SAGAIE’ project experiments with the French government space agency, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), which deployed Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations in the ASECNA area, showed good availability using the EGNOS v.2.4.1M aided by an additional ionosphere monitoring algorithm. The role of the EGNOS in Africa Joint Programme Office (JPO) as a support instrument for the harmonisation of SBAS - EGNOS activities in Africa was also narrated. It was reported that implementation of SBAS - EGNOS in Africa has a main goal of having African SBAS capabilities by 2025 through a modular approach. In this respect, availability of DFMC SBAS is anticipated to support this goal.

The event provided all participants with a unique opportunity to hear updates on SBAS and GNSS programmes worldwide. More specifically, for JPO the information gathered will contribute to its support to all initiatives on the African side and ongoing implementation of the programme ‘Support to EGNOS in Africa’. We believe that increased awareness of the IWG members on the SBAS initiatives in Africa and the ‘EGNOS in Africa Support’ programme’ will contribute to the integration of Africa in the global SBAS and GNSS programmes’ coordination. We are looking forward to the next IWG 31 in Dakar!