What is SBAS?

What is a Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS)?
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Raghav Kapur - everything RF

Sep 20, 2017

SBAS stands for Satellite Based Augmentation System. It consists of a number of strategically placed ground stations that act as reference points for existing GNSS systems. Since the position of these reference/ground stations are fixed, they can be used to calculate GNSS errors. This information collected at each reference/ground station is transferred to a central location and then broadcasted over an entire region using geostationary satellites, serving as an augmentation to the original GNSS signal. GNSS modules can use these signals for error correction and to provide more accurate position information.

SBAS systems are essential for applications where accuracy and integrity are critical. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has made the use of SBAS and other GNSS augmentation systems compulsory during the critical phases of aircraft flight, in particular final approaches.

Each region has implemented its own SBAS solution:

Europe: European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS)
USA: Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)
Japan: Multi-functional Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS)
India: GPS and GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) to cover the Indian subcontinent
Korea and China also have SBAS Soltions

All these SBAS systems use a common global standard and are therefore compatible all standard GNSS receivers. This way a GPS solution developed in the United States can take advantage of SBAS solutions in Europe or Asia to improve its operational accuracy.