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Thales Alenia Space to Help Supply Satellite Navigation Services in Africa

By | February 8, 2019
Thales Alenia Space CEO Donato Amoroso. Photo: Thales Alenia Space

Donato Amoroso the new Deputy CEO of Thales Alenia Space and CEO of Thales Alenia Space Italia . Photo: Thales Alenia Space

The Agency for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space on Feb. 8 in Dakar, Senegal to conduct a preliminary design study (phase B) for its program to develop a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS). ASECNA’s SBAS is based on European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). In line with the agency’s strategic plan, it aims to enhance navigation and surveillance operations during all flight phases, as well as significantly and sustainably improve flight safety and efficiency in the areas under its responsibility.

Starting in 2021-22, these services aim to improve the positioning performance of existing satellite navigation systems, such as Global Positioning System (GPS) or Galileo. The new system will help improve precision (down to within a meter), integrity, availability, and continuity for safety-related applications. Other business sectors, including maritime, rail and road transport, as well as agriculture, could benefit from these services.

The phase B study should enable countries belonging to ASECNA to define the best system architecture to support the delivery of SBAS services, and to ensure transparency during the following development, deployment and operational phases. The study is being financed by a grant from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-AITF), through a financing agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD). The European Commission and European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency (GSA) will provide technical assistance as part of an international agreement between ASECNA and the European Union (EU), also including the French Space Agency (CNES).