Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

EGNOS improves safety for maritime navigation in China

03.02.2004


The fog today is hanging heavy on the Yangtze River making conditions for navigation rather difficult, however one ferry goes forward with no special worries. The captain is using the highly accurate satellite navigation system, EGNOS.



The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) is an initiative of the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission and Eurocontrol.
This boat trip is the first trial testing satellite navigation with EGNOS in China and is the first real joint work between Chinese and European Space Agency engineers on the promising domain of satellite positioning. It represents a new cooperation between China and Europe on the Global Navigation Satellite System.

We are in Wuhan, the heart of China, on the third longest river in the world after the Amazone and the Nile. The Yangtze separates the north and south of the former Empire of the Middle and is a busy maritime highway. It carries important traffic from the coast in Shanghai to the Three Gorges Dam. Wuhan is 1500 km inland from the China Sea and is the fourth largest city in China with a population of more than 7 million and a big port along the Yangtze.



The fog obscures the view of the opposite bank, especially where the Yangtze spans more than one kilometre. Onboard the ferry, near the captain, a computer screen displays a map of the Wuhan river crossing. A small point shows the position of the boat based on measurements made with EGNOS, the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service. The system uses GPS signals to provide a more accurate signal with added integrity.

Preparations

For several months teams in China and Europe have worked closely to prepare tests using the EGNOS signal which is currently in a test bed phase. The EGNOS test bed signal is available above China relayed by a geostationary satellite positioned above the Indian Ocean.

To make these trials possible, a temporary regional ground network of stations had to be implemented. Three Ranging and Integrity Monitoring Stations (RIMS) were installed in China: one in Shanghai, one in Fangshang near Beijing, and one in Wuhan. This enabled a triangle of EGNOS data availability (like GPS) and ionospheric corrections.

Firstly, the Chinese Sismological Bureau conducted static tests last December. A campaign of EGNOS data collection on six different sites showed very good availability and accuracy of the EGNOS performances inside the temporarily installed EGNOS ’triangle’. The accuracy obtained with the EGNOS test bed signal improved the accuracy of GPS by a factor of three.

Dynamic tests were then made by the Dalian Maritime Institute with the support of the Chiangjiang Waterway Institute who provided the boat. These trials allowed a check of the quality and availability of EGNOS in China in the busy built up urban environment of Wuhan. Bridges and buildings can normally cause interferences that can in turn affect the signal. Wuhan was therefore a good test of the reliability of the EGNOS signal which is essential for safety in maritime navigation.

Cooperation

This cooperation illustrates the potential of extending EGNOS beyond Europe. It also prepares the ground for the coming cooperation around Galileo on which the EU and China signed a political agreement last September 2003.

During these trials people also got to know each other. Engineers from both sides found they could work well together. Indeed, in front of the Beijing University there is already a joint office: the China-Europe GNSS Technology Training and Cooperation Centre (CENC) which opened last September after the agreement for China’s participation in Galileo on global navigation satellite system which was signed at the highest political level.

In fact, when realizing the dynamism and potential of China for the 21st century such a cooperation seems obvious. After all, it is in China that the magnetic compass was invented more than 2000 years ago, so now China and Europe can work together for the compass of the 21st century: navigation satellite systems.

EGNOS can be used for boat navigation as well as any type of transport or professional application from guiding blind people to virtual tolling.

The EGNOS signal will be available by the middle of 2004 and paves the way for Galileo, due to be operational in 2008. This civil initiative will complement the sole alternative satellite navigation option: the US Global Positioning System (GPS). Galileo, whose development and validation phase is being co-funded by ESA and the EU, will give Europeans - and indeed the world at large - a precise and secured satellite positioning system.

Dominique Detain | ESA
Further information:
http://t2wesa.r3h.net/export/esaNA/SEMTS4474OD_index_0.html

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht Tool helps cities to plan electric bus routes, and calculate the benefits
09.01.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Realistic training for extreme flight conditions
28.12.2016 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>