Eugene Avenant, TT&C Director at SANSA Space Operations; is part of the South African delegation working on an architectural study for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System (EGNOS) in South Africa (EGSA).
EGNOS is Europe's augmentation system for GPS, and is similar to other Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) worldwide. EGNOS increases GPS accuracy and supports applications requiring high precision by correcting errors caused by atmospheric disturbance factors.
The first EGNOS in South Africa (EGSA) Task Force meeting took place in Brussels from 1-3 October 2012. "The main objective of the Task Force is to prepare a proposal detailing the requirements around the implementation of EGNOS in South Africa," Avenant says.
In preparation for SBAS being deployed in South Africa SANSA along with its European partners is completing an FP7 project to prepare industry for this.
As part of this project, four workshops are being held to train people from institutions that will be implementing and managing the system. Eugene and Farhad Hassim, represented SANSA at the workshops. The first training was held at Hartebeesthoek from the 7-10 May 2012 and included practical exercises on simulating SBAS and determining the expected performances and possibilities available with GNSS based navigation systems, using GMV's polaris software.
On the 23-26 August 2012, the second training was held at the ATNS Aviation Training Academy at the O.R. Tambo International Airport and covered the engineering and programmatic aspects of an SBAS, from the feasibility analysis and mission definition; to the operational phase. During this workshop the magicSBAS testbed system was also installed on the SANSA servers. This will be used in the second halve of the project to do trials that will demonstrate the capabilities of an SBAS system. The third of four planned workshops was held on the 10-14 September 2012 at the ATNS Engineering and Technical Services in Cape Town, by Spanish company GMV Innovation Solutions the lead partner in the SBAS Awareness and training for South Africa (SATSA) project. This workshop focused on two areas, firstly the use of GNSS in Aviation from ICAO strategies to regulatory requirements and procedure development; and secondly safety aspects of a safety of life qualified SBAS system.
A final workshop will be held in Madrid in November.