European Commission-backed internet service boosts reliability of GPS

26 Jul 2012

The European Commission’s new European Data Access Service (EDAS) internet service claims to make it possible to obtain more accurate GPS data via the internet in addition to via existing satellite signals.

EDAS is provided by ESSP under a contract with the European Commission and is designed to make satellite navigation in Europe more reliable and effective for use in commercial applications.

A commercial service of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), EDAS will support new services in such sectors as high-precision fertiliser spraying, automatic road tolling, fleet management, inland waterway navigation, dangerous goods transport and accurate area measurement.

As it makes GPS data available via the internet, EDAS ensures that users can access EGNOS information even if the EGNOS satellite signal in space is unavailable – perhaps because of signal obstruction in urban areas.

Improved services for Europe

European Commission vice-president Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: “This third EGNOS service once again proves the European Commission’s commitment to delivering improved services to the EU’s businesses and citizens.

“So much of our day-to-day private and business lives are dependent on satellite navigation technology. With EDAS, we have a reliable performance level which can in turn support the creation of new and innovative products and thus help to overcome the current economic crisis.”

EGNOS is the first pan-European satellite-based augmentation system. Similar services are provided in North America by the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and in Japan by the Multifunctional Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS). EGNOS is Europe’s first contribution to satellite navigation and is the precursor to Galileo.

Europe image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years