EGNOS and Galileo are here to stay. ESA’s satnav evolution programme is looking into how the two systems will evolve over time.
Research is under way into future improvements such as expanded augmentation coverage, including how best to support increased navigation in the Arctic region as ice cover recedes, even more precise atomic clocks, and inter-satellite links to reduce Galileo’s dependence on its ground segment for clock correction.
Improved ionospheric modelling is another innovation that would increase Galileo and EGNOS accuracy while also being of scientific interest.
Navigation satellite ‘reflectometry’ is another field of research: intercepting reflected satnav signals with special receivers to gather scientific and environmental information on Earth’s sea and land, including sea-surface height and roughness, wind fields, ice extent, soil moisture and biomass density.