Satellite Navigation System Powered by Wind River Achieves Safety-Critical Certification from European Space Agency
MAIDENHEAD, United Kingdom — June 15, 2010 — Wind River, a world leader in embedded and mobile software, today announced that VxWorks has been chosen to run Logica’s Integrity Processing Facility (IPF) check set for the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). The IPF, developed and delivered by Logica, is the crucial element that validates the information broadcast by the satellites to safety critical users such as aircraft in flight or ships navigating through narrow channels.
Without EGNOS it is not possible for users such as civil aviation to rely with full confidence on satellite navigation systems like the Global Positioning System (GPS). EGNOS allows these users to count on improved accuracy of satellite navigation signals, which, in turn, reduces travel time and helps operators save fuel.
EGNOS is Europe’s first venture into satellite navigation. EGNOS signals augment the two military satellite navigation systems now operating, the US GPS and Russian Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) systems, and makes them more suitable for safety critical applications.
Consisting of three geostationary satellites and a network of ground stations, EGNOS achieves its aim by transmitting a signal containing information to increase the reliability and accuracy of the positioning signals sent out by GPS and GLONASS satellites. It allows users in Europe and beyond to determine their position within two meters, compared with about 20 meters for GPS and GLONASS alone.
EGNOS is a joint project of the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Commission (EC) and EUROCONTROL, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation. It is Europe’s first activity in the field of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and is a precursor to Galileo, the full global satellite navigation system under development in Europe.
“Certification for safety-critical can be a drawn out and expensive process,” said Alex Wilson, senior program manager for aerospace and defense at Wind River. “Industry-leading device manufacturers such as Logica need the robustness and support that comes from choosing an industry-leading, certification-ready solution like VxWorks to minimize risk and shorten time to certification.”
EGNOS IPF has completed safety-certification to EUROCAE ED-12B Level B (which is directly equivalent to RTCA DO-178B Level B) running on Intel® architecture, which was an important milestone in enabling EGNOS to be used for safety-critical applications.
A successful test using EGNOS to guide an aircraft during landing was carried out. An Air Nostrum Dash-8 aircraft flew four test approaches to runway 04 at San Sebastian, employing a technique called Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance (LPV). During this type of landing, a special satellite navigation receiver provides the pilot with both lateral guidance, replacing or augmenting the function of the localizer - a radio beacon that guides the plane to the runway centre line, and vertical guidance.
About Wind River
Wind River, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), is a world leader in embedded and mobile software. Wind River has been pioneering computing inside embedded devices since 1981 and its technology is found in more than 500 million products. Wind River is headquartered in Alameda, Calif. with offices in more than 15 countries. To learn more, visit Wind River at www.windriver.com or blogs.windriver.com.
Director, Global Communications