Global Navigation Satellite Systems – Augmentation System (GNSSaS)

The Global Navigation Satellite Systems – Augmentation System (GNSSaS) program is a unique opportunity for the UAE to become involved in space based GNSS technology which also pathed the way for UAE to gain the associated benefits related to the technology in term of space engineering education, developing local technical capabilities and potential commercial applications.

The ultimate goal of the GNSSaS program is providing a commercial service for augmenting existing GNSS systems such as GPS and Galileo to enable position determination.

This research program, funded by the UAE Space Agency (UAE SA), was awarded to the National Space Science and Technology Centre (NSSTC), United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). The proposed GNSSaS architecture that was received from NSSTC, based on using a Low Earth Orbit constellation of CubeSat’s or small satellites to provide GNSS navigation, promises an improved performance and resilience at lower cost relative to other GNSS and GNSS augmentation systems by providing an innovative augmentation concept.

GNSSaS can potentially support the operational requirements for a number of applications and market needs such as:

  • Autonomous vehicles which are rapidly emerging and need a viable complementary technology to the on board sensors for localization on the road.
  • Drones (UAV) are proliferating and need highly accurate and reliable GPS positioning.
  • Precision farming is a global imperative, yet current systems do not always work.
  • The need to navigate accurately in urban canyons, where multi-path effects caused by GNSS signal reflections reduce prescient where it is most needed.
  • The need for robust GNSS cybersecurity to defeat malicious attacks and hacking.
  • Growing threat from jamming and spoofing.