Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) refers to a constellation of satellites providing signals from space that transmit positioning and timing data to GNSS receivers. The receivers then use this data to determine location.
By definition, GNSS provides global coverage. Examples of GNSS include Europe’s Galileo, the USA’s NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia’s Global’naya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema (GLONASS) and China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System.
The performance of GNSS is assessed using four criteria:
- Accuracy: the difference between a receiver’s measured and real position, speed or time;
- Integrity: a system’s capacity to provide a threshold of confidence and, in the event of an anomaly in the positioning data, an alarm;
- Continuity: a system’s ability to function without interruption;
- Availability: the percentage of time a signal fulfils the above accuracy, integrity and continuity criteria.
This performance can be improved by regional satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS), such as the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). EGNOS improves the accuracy and reliability of GPS information by correcting signal measurement errors and by providing information about the integrity of its signals.