With an aim of increasing the accuracy of the US global positioning system (GPS), the European Union (EU) has launched a free satellite navigation system called EGNOS, which apparently fine tunes accuracy of the GPS system to around 2 meters.
The new system dramatically improves the horizontal accuracy of the GPS system which stood at 7 meters while the vertical accuracy which is likely to go a long way in helping pilots during landings
Altogether, the improvement is likely to offer several benefits to its users ranging from pilots to the visually impaired. The newly launched EGNOS system uses an extensive set of 34 ground stations and three satellites to improve on the existing GPS system.
Other benefits from the EGNOS may range from helping farmers in better spraying of fertilizers to becoming a catalyst for new services such as automatic tolling.
The EGNOS also comes as boost for much delayed Galileo project, which has been affected by funding issues till the EU decided to use public funding to get the project on track.
The Galileo project would rival GPS when launched and is expected to be the most sophisticated navigation satellite system to be ever launched and analysts are already hoping that the system would be up and running by 2014.
Satnav are part of modern life and the technology is increasingly being integrated in other devices such as mobile phones, cars and even laptops. Improving its accuracy is imperative to deliver a much better service and importantly, it is likely to cost nothing to the end user (although you've certainly paid for it through your taxes).