The European Commission has announced the official start of operations of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), a satellite based augmentation system (SBAS) that improves the accuracy of the current US Global Positioning System
(GPS) and Russian GLONASS system signals from about ten meters to two meters. Like the U.S. GPS, the EGNOS Open Service is accessible free of charge to any user equipped with a GPS/SBAS compatible receiver within the EGNOS coverage area, which includes most European states and has the built-in capability to be extended to other regions, such as North Africa and EU neighboring countries. Most receivers sold today in Europe meet that requirement.
The Sixth European Satellite Competition is an annual search for the best application ideas for satellite navigation. In recent years, the winning innovations have included a rescue system for persons who have fallen overboard at sea; a mobile, GPS-supported social network; a mobile phone-based guidance system that aids more economical driving; a remote monitoring system for recovering heart patients; a Web 2.0 platform that delivers location-based videos in real time; and a flood prediction system. It's not quite American Idol for entrepreneurs, but there are many similarities. Apart from the monetary prize, success in the competition paves the way to market for your talents, with significant partners. Entries open May 1.
July 19, 2007 The go-anywhere characteristics of helicopters make them ideal for emergency services, but when visibility is poor their operation is limited by aviation regulations. One of the keys to enabling anytime, anywhere helicopter rescue is the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS
) - a European network that collects, records, corrects and improves data from the US Global Positioning System (GPS). EGNOS will provide a guaranteed positional accuracy of better than two metres, compared with 15 to 20 metres for GPS alone. The accurate position reporting and navigation system integrity checking offered by EGNOS will be a vital enabling factor for anywhere, anytime rescue services – as was demonstrated during a series of trials in Switzerland recently, using EGNOS to guide Eurocopter
’s experimental all-weather helicopter (Helicoptere Tous Temps – HTT) in rooftop landings on Lausanne University Hospital.
A new device which enables blind people to navigate without other assistance promises unprecedented autonomy for the sight impaired. The Tormes system is a small computer using the Sonobraille platform, which includes a Braille keyboard and voice synthesiser, plus several navigation technologies to give a high degree of positioning accuracy. The system can be queried and responds with verbal directions, like any GPS device in a car, but weighing less than one kilo it can be carried over the shoulder. It can be used in two ways: to guide the user to their destination or to tell them where they are as they walk around.