Thales Alenia Space to supply satellite-based augmentation system for ASECNA

Image Source: STAMTech

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.

The Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar is an air traffic control agency based in Dakar, Senegal. It manages 16.1 million square kilometres of airspace (1.5 times the size of Europe) covering six Flight Information Regions (FIRs) – Antananarivo, Brazzaville, Dakar Oceanic and Terrestrial, Niamey and N’Djamena. ASECNA Air Traffic Control centres are based at international airports in each of these cities.

According to Article 2 of the Dakar Convention, this agency is responsible for the design, implementation and management of facilities and services relating to the transmission of technical information and traffic, aircraft guidance, air traffic control, flight information, forecasting and reporting to the meteorological department, about traffic routes when it comes to approaching and landing on Community airports.

NIGCOMSAT deploys Africa’s first Satellite Based Augmentation Systems

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).

This is coming about 2 months after Thales Alenia Space signed a Cooperative Agreement with NIGCOMSAT on SBAS Test bed Demonstration to characterize and validate the performance of NIGCOMSAT-1R navigation band payload with service trials and thus creating a common technical stream for a unified and holistic SBAS infrastructure to fill up the hiatus in Augmentation System for African continent and surrounding oceans (Atlantic and Indian).

© Space in Africa 2020

All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other forms of electronic retrieval system.

New Report: The African space economy is now worth USD 7 billion and is projected to grow at a 7.3% compound annual growth rate to exceed USD 10 billion by 2024. Read the executive summary of the African Space Industry Report - 2019 Edition to learn more about the industry. You can order the report online.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.