Global navigation satellite systems

Improving network performance through GNSS.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) form a key technology in the communications, navigation, and surveillance (CNS) infrastructure. GNSS can support navigation applications in all phases of flight as well as surveillance applications such as ADS-B. It ensures:

  • accuracy in terms of position, speed or time;
  • integrity, by providing confidence in GNSS performance and providing an alert if confidence dips below a certain level;
  • continuity of service - it is able to function without interruption;
  • availability: the percentage of time a signal takes to meet the stated accuracy, integrity and continuity criteria.

Our role

EUROCONTROL continues to play a key role in the use of GNSS in European aviation. This is based on partnership with aviation stakeholders, other European institutions dealing with GNSS (the European Commission, European Space Agency and European GNSS Agency) and international partners, such as the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration.

In using GNSS-based applications, our goal is to:

  • increase network performance in terms of capacity, cost efficiency, safety, environment and/or interoperability;
  • provide valuable, independent and impartial support to the European Union in seeing how EGNOS and Galileo can best be integrated into the aviation strategy for enhancing ATM performance in the Single European Sky;
  • contribute to SESAR projects related to GNSS (e.g. evolution to a dual frequency multi-constellation GNSS environment );
  • bridge the technical-operational gap as regards GNSS’s GNSS vulnerability by identifying the causes as well as defining appropriate mitigation strategies;
  • ddress institutional and legal issues related to GNSS – for instance, the applicability of the Single European Sky regulations to GNSS;
  • support military users in reaching a high level of interoperability of civil and military satellite navigation solutions, taking into account their specific needs, including the consideration of encrypted GNSS elements to enable State aircraft compliance with navigation requirements;
  • protect the interests of all airspace users.

We also contribute to various GNSS-augmentation activities, be they aircraft-based augmentation systems (ABAS), satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) or ground-based augmentation system (GBAS). These contributions vary in depth and scale.

Monitoring and prediction of satellite navigation service

Our monitoring service records data from GNSS. We do this to help European states approve GNSS operations.