The definition study for the satellite-based augmentation system “SBAS for Africa and the Indian Ocean” took a major step forward, with validation of the system’s architecture and geographic coverage. This marked a major milestone in the development of this system designed by Thales Alenia Space, the joint company between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), within the scope of the preliminary design study (phase B) contract signed in February 2019 with the Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA).
The ASECNA programme “SBAS for Africa and the Indian Ocean” is based on the European EGNOS programme. In line with the ASECNA’s strategic plan, this program aims to enhance navigation and surveillance operations for all phases of flight, thus providing a significant and sustainable improvement in-flight safety and efficiency over the African continent.
Planned from 2022, these services will be used to augment the positioning accuracy provided by current satellite navigation constellations, including GPS and Galileo.
The new system will improve accuracy to within a meter, while also boosting the integrity, availability and continuity of safety-related applications. In addition to aviation, it will benefit land, sea and rail transport in a post-COVID-19 changing environment, as supporting user safety, cost-effectiveness and sustainable development. In addition to defining the system’s architecture to support these SBAS services, the study will provide ASECNA and its member States a clear view of the development, deployment and operation of the “SBAS for Africa and the Indian Ocean”.
This study is being carried out jointly by ASECNA and Thales Alenia Space, with funding from the European Union, as part of an ambitious programme to develop the aviation sector in Africa. Set for completion by the end of the year, it also includes the provision of a pre-operational service, along with field demonstrations of how to use the service in conjunction with partner airlines. Thales Alenia Space has now completed acceptance testing of the demonstrator, which will subsequently be deployed at various sites.
ASECNA is an International public organisation. Its main mission is to provide air navigation services within the airspace of 16,500,000 square kilometres, divided into six flight information regions (F.I.R) as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ASECNA also develops solutions for airport management, aviation infrastructure studies and construction, equipment maintenance, calibration of air navigation instruments and training for civil aviation staff. Its 18 Member States are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad and Togo.
About Thales Alenia Space
Drawing on over 40 years of experience and a unique combination of skills, expertise and cultures, Thales Alenia Space delivers cost-effective solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments and private industry alike count on Thales Alenia Space to design satellite-based systems that provide anytime, anywhere connections and positioning, monitor our planet, enhance management of its resources, and explore our Solar System and beyond. Thales Alenia Space sees space as a new horizon, helping to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of approximately 2.15 billion euros in 2019 and has around 7,700 employees in nine countries.