Home » Aviation: Nigerian Satellite Company NIGCOMSAT launches first African Satellite based Augmentation System to allow improved ILS at airports

Aviation: Nigerian Satellite Company NIGCOMSAT launches first African Satellite based Augmentation System to allow improved ILS at airports

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NIGCOMSAT

In a bid to provide more ways in improving communication airline operators and service providers in the aviation sector across Africa, the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited launched the first Satellite -Based Augmentation System (SBAS) signal over the continent and the Indian Ocean achieving another landmark in the industry.

According to myengineers.com.ng, the feat was accomplished in collaboration with The Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar ASECNA, Thales Alenia Space. The SBAS would help accelerate African aviation development, the company announces.

NIGCOMSAT Ltd, along with Thales Alenia and ASECNA, and partners started the broadcast of a SBAS signals over Africa and the Indian Ocean in September 2020, and they conducted five demos at Lome International airport for the first launch of the SBAS.

The goal, according to the company was; “to show in real configuration the efficiency of the technology developed in the frame of the early open service as part of the SBAS for Africa & Indian Ocean programme which pursues the autonomous provision over the continent of SBAS services, to augment the performances of the satellite navigation constellations GPS and Galileo.”

“These tests were carried out by means of the ASECNA calibration aircraft (ATR42-300), which has been equipped for the occasion by Pildo Labs with specific sensors and embarked VIPs and pilots in 5 rotations over Lome airport.

According to the Nigerian SBAS Project Manager; Engr. Dr. Lasisi Salami Lawal: “Considering the onboard navigation payload asset of NIGCOMSAT-1R, the team will continue to do all that is required to demonstrate and showcase the capabilities of SBAS not only in Aviation but also non-aviation sector such as maritime, rail transport etc to drum up the required resources by stakeholders to adopt SBAS for its many benefits and applications in Africa.”

Lawal also said that the aim of the experiment was to demonstrate the ability of the system to allow landing on the two ends of the runway without deployment of local infrastructure with a performance level to the use of Instrument Landing System (ILS). It also demonstrates the benefits of the future operational safety-of-life SBAS services, expected from 2024, in terms of flight safety, efficiency and of environmental protection.

He explained that the outcomes of the demonstrations was a crucial step towards the provision and use of satellite navigation services in the Africa and Indian Ocean region.
“The demos would also be debriefed during the international outreach event on SBAS in aviation in Africa, which brings together airlines, aircraft manufacturers and other aviation stakeholders, from all over the world, precisely at the end of the month.” he concluded.

The excited, MD/CEO of NIGCOMSAT Ltd. Dr. Abimbola Alale declared: “We are proud to support the SBAS for Africa & Indian Ocean open service and to have contributed to the success of these inflight demos using our geostationary communication satellite NIGCOMSAT-1R navigation payload”,.

“The SBAS demonstration flight feat is in line with policy direction of the Honorable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy of Federal Republic of Nigeria; Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) FNCS, FBCS, FIIM for value addition and propensity not only in the Telecommunications Sector but Aviation, Maritime, Rail Transport, Precision Agriculture, Survey, Oil & Gas and Mass-Market Applications for sustainable development beyond Nigerian shores”. Dr Alale Explained.

The Vice President, Navigation business, at Thales Alenia Space, Benoit Broudy, said the longstanding expertise acquired with the development of EGNOS’ SBAS in Europe, and KASS SBAS in Korea, combined with new leading-edge satellite positioning technologies makes Thales Alenia Space, the ideal partner to best support countries to implement their own SBAS efficiently. “We hope these series of demos will help to accelerate SBAS adoption in aviation in Africa”. He added.

The Director-General of ASECNA, Mohamed Moussa, said: “I am proud to have demonstrated the utility and efficiency of the SBAS services in the continent”, adding that the event would bolster the deployment of the “SBAS for Africa and Indian Ocean” system, as the navigation solution for Africa by Africa.” He added that it would enhance air navigation safety and efficiency for the benefit of the whole continent, in line with his vision for the unification of the African Sky.

SBAS is a civil aviation safety-critical system that supports wide-area, even continental scale positioning through the use of geostationary (GEO) satellites which broadcast the augmentation information.

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