Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024
Viasat’s UK SBAS Enhances Safety and Efficiency in Transportation

Viasat, a global communications company, has successfully demonstrated the capabilities of its UK Satellite Based Augmentation System (UK SBAS) in a recent test flight. This innovative system utilizes highly accurate GPS data to enhance safety and improve efficiency in various transport applications.

The test flight, conducted in collaboration with the National Flying Laboratory Centre and using the Saab 340B aircraft, showcased the UK SBAS’s ability to deliver precise and reliable navigation data. With the UK’s departure from the European Union, the country is no longer part of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). Therefore, the trial aims to develop a complementary UK SBAS that can be utilized for critical safety of life navigation services across air, land, and sea.

The UK SBAS operates by combining ground monitoring data with satellite connectivity to provide highly accurate navigational information. Unlike standard GPS, which offers accuracy within a few meters, the UK SBAS can achieve positioning down to a few centimeters. This level of accuracy is particularly beneficial in aviation, where pilots often face challenging weather conditions that limit visibility.

By implementing the UK SBAS, pilots can have greater trust in their onboard instruments, resulting in improved safety and fewer missed landings. For example, a regional flight operator estimated that close to 40% of flights canceled due to weather could have proceeded if the UK SBAS had been available. Currently, as many as 72 airports in the UK no longer have access to EGNOS procedures, highlighting the need for an alternative system like the UK SBAS.

In addition to aviation, the trial also aims to test the system’s effectiveness in other transport applications such as rail, uncrewed aerial vehicles, and autonomous road vehicles. The UK SBAS has the potential to increase efficiency and enable new innovations across the entire transport network.

This successful demonstration showcases the UK’s first-class space sector and its capabilities in position, navigation, and timing. The project received full funding from the Department for Transport through the European Space Agency’s NAVISP program. Viasat, along with various UK-based companies and institutions, collaborated to bring the UK SBAS to fruition.

As the trial progresses, the team is excited to explore further opportunities and advancements with the UK SBAS. By delivering trust, accuracy, and reliability, this system has the potential to revolutionize Britain’s transport system and enable the integration of new technologies. Viasat’s commitment to connectivity and innovation continues to shape the global communications landscape.

FAQ

1. What is the UK Satellite Based Augmentation System (UK SBAS)?
The UK SBAS is an innovative system that utilizes highly accurate GPS data to enhance safety and improve efficiency in various transport applications.

2. How was the UK SBAS tested?
The UK SBAS was tested in a collaboration with the National Flying Laboratory Centre and using the Saab 340B aircraft.

3. What is the purpose of the UK SBAS trial?
The trial aims to develop a complementary UK SBAS that can be utilized for critical safety of life navigation services across air, land, and sea, after the UK’s departure from the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

4. How does the UK SBAS achieve highly accurate navigational information?
The UK SBAS operates by combining ground monitoring data with satellite connectivity to provide highly accurate navigational information. It can achieve positioning down to a few centimeters, unlike standard GPS that offers accuracy within a few meters.

5. How does the UK SBAS benefit aviation?
By implementing the UK SBAS, pilots can have greater trust in their onboard instruments, resulting in improved safety and fewer missed landings. It can also potentially reduce flight cancellations due to weather conditions.

6. Besides aviation, what other transport applications are being tested for the effectiveness of the UK SBAS?
The trial also aims to test the effectiveness of the UK SBAS in other transport applications such as rail, uncrewed aerial vehicles, and autonomous road vehicles.

7. How was the UK SBAS project funded?
The project received full funding from the Department for Transport through the European Space Agency’s NAVISP program.

Definitions

UK SBAS: UK Satellite Based Augmentation System, an innovative system that enhances safety and improves efficiency in various transport applications by utilizing highly accurate GPS data.

European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS): A system developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) that improves the accuracy and integrity of GPS signals over Europe.

NAVISP: Navigation Innovation and Support Programme, a program by the European Space Agency (ESA) that supports the development of innovative navigation systems.

Related Links

Viasat – Official website of Viasat, the global communications company involved in the development of the UK SBAS.

European Space Agency (ESA) – Official website of the European Space Agency, which provided funding through the NAVISP program for the UK SBAS project.