NigComSat Dan­gles Africa’s First Satel­lite Nav­i­ga­tion Ser­vices

Nigeria Communications Week - - News - Ugo On­wuaso

NIGCOMSAT has struck a col­lab­o­ra­tion with ASECNA and Thales Ale­nia Space to pro­vide the first Satel­lite-Based Aug­men­ta­tion Sys­tem (SBAS) sig­nal over Africa & In­dian Ocean (AFI).

The ser­vice, which will go into full op­er­a­tion in 2024, opens a new era of satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion per­for­mance aug­men­ta­tion in the Africa & In­dian Ocean re­gion

ASECNA, the Agency for Air Nav­i­ga­tion Safety in Africa and Mada­gas­car, has started to broad­cast the SBAS.

It is the first SBAS open ser­vice in this part of the world.

NigComSat-1R Satel­lite man­aged and op­er­ated by Nige­rian Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Satel­lite Ltd un­der Fed­eral Min­istry of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Dig­i­tal Econ­omy of Nige­ria, is cen­tral to the whole ar­range­ment.

NigComSat-1R with a life­span of 15 years, was launched into the or­bit on De­cem­ber 19, 2011.

This early open ser­vice is pro­vided as part of the “SBAS for Africa & In­dian Ocean” pro­gramme which pur­sues the au­ton­o­mous pro­vi­sion over the con­ti­nent of SBAS ser­vices, to aug­ment the per­for­mances of the satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion con­stel­la­tions GPS and Galileo.

With im­proved ac­cu­racy to within a me­ter, and boosted in­tegrity, avail­abil­ity and con­ti­nu­ity of safety-re­lated ap­pli­ca­tions, th­ese SBAS ser­vices will im­prove flight safety and ef­fi­ciency in Africa.

It is also ex­pected to ben­e­fit the econ­omy in many ar­eas as land, sea and rail trans­port, as well as mass mar­ket ap­pli­ca­tions, sup­port­ing user safety, cost-ef­fec­tive­ness and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

The launched open ser­vice es­sen­tially aims to carry-out tech­ni­cal tri­als, and to un­der­take with part­ner air­lines field demon­stra­tions for air­craft and ro­tor­craft, to demon­strate the ben­e­fits of the fu­ture op­er­a­tional safety-of-life SBAS ser­vices, ex­pected from 2024.

It will also in­clude early Pre­cise Point Po­si­tion­ing (PPP) and emer­gency warn­ing ser­vice to pop­u­la­tions, which per­for­mance will be proven through other demon­stra­tions.

The sig­nal-in-space is gen­er­ated by a ded­i­cated sys­tem test­bed, de­vel­oped as part of the “SBAS for Africa and In­dian Ocean” pre­lim­i­nary de­sign phase, fi­nanced by the Euro­pean Union and awarded to Thales Ale­nia Space, Joint Ven­ture be­tween Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%). The “SBAS for Africa and In­dian Ocean” is based on the Euro­pean EGNOS de­vel­oped by the Euro­pean Space Agency (ESA) act­ing un­der del­e­ga­tion of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and op­er­ated by the Euro­pean GNSS Agency GSA.

The sys­tem pro­to­type uses as ref­er­ence sta­tions net­work the SAGAIE net­work de­ployed by CNES and ASECNA with the sup­port of Thales Ale­nia Space.

The sig­nal is broad­casted via the SBAS pay­load on NigComSat 1R GEO sate

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