Space to Travel & navigate

Satellite systems provide the information that makes online maps and navigation apps a reality

We no longer use paper maps to get around by car; today’s satnavs have everything we need to get safely from A to B. Geolocation also lets us precisely identify people adrift at sea or in other dangerous situations. Satellite navigation systems are used at airports to assist pilots during takeoff and landing. They also serve a host of other applications like tracking ships, search & rescue, the Internet of Things (IoT) and agriculture. And they have already helped save many human lives.

As a pivotal player in programs like Galileo and EGNOS, Thales Alenia Space has always been a pioneer in satellite navigation systems.


EGNOS (European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service) is the system used to augment Galileo’s accuracy and performance all over Europe. Its services help aircraft land at small airports and assist shipping, typically for operations like conveying a platform through tight channels.

Thales Alenia Space has continually enhanced the ground system to ensure the integrity vital to ultra-precise and reliable positioning requirements for new applications like autonomous road, rail and maritime transportation systems. Safety-of-life services already exist for aviation.

In recent years, Thales Alenia Space has performed numerous flight demonstrations with ASECNA, the Agency for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar.

These have been conclusive and an air navigation system covering all of Africa is expected to roll out in due course. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) also turned to us to conceive its own version of EGNOS, KASS (Korea Augmentation Satellite System), which will provide safety-of-life services for the aviation, rail, maritime and road sectors. Thales Alenia Space also developed the MEOLUT Next active-antenna system used for satellite search & rescue operations. This solution, renowned for its exceptional coverage and positional accuracy, enables the intergovernmental COSPAS-SARSAT satellite-based search-and-rescue initiative to save hundreds of lives every year.

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About Galileo

Thales Alenia Space was involved in every phase of development of the first-generation Galileo system, in charge of system support, the Galileo Mission Segment (GMS) and the Galileo Security Facility (GSF).

In 2021, we were selected by the European Space Agency (ESA), acting on behalf of the European Commission, to build six of the 12 new satellites for the Galileo Second Generation sovereign constellation. Thales Alenia Space has also signed a contract extension covering support for the first-generation system, the GMS and the GSF to boost operational capacity.

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©Thales Alenia Space

Geolocation for the Internet of Things

©Thales Alenia Space

Thales Alenia Space has leveraged its expertise in satellite constellations and navigation to address new markets calling for new navigation and geolocation capabilities, like Kineis, the first French constellation dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), and Omnispace, for which the first two nanosatellites built by us as prime contractor were successfully launched this year. These disruptive technology programs are being pursued in partnership with small and mid-sized firms and startups.

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© Thales Alenia Space - Kinéis – HEMERIA

We are playing a leading role in the Kinéis constellation as system architect and in charge of the ground segment and payloads. This future constellation of 25 nanosatellites will cover a broad spectrum of applications, from ship tracking, fish stock management and the “blue economy” to safety and security of people, environmental monitoring and weather data collection.

Pioneering the future of satellite navigation

Two astronauts on the moon working with robot

The future of navigation will probably be founded on a system comprising satellites in low Earth (LEO), medium Earth (MEO), geostationary and inclined sun-synchronous orbits, integrated with ground systems. Thales Alenia Space will be relying on its recent IoT developments for the new LEO PNT (Positioning/Navigation/Timing) component.

The next decade will also see satellite navigation extended to the Moon. Thales Alenia Space is working on several studies for ESA’s Moonlight initiative with a view to establishing reliable cislunar communications and navigation services to support the next generation of government and private lunar exploration missions.


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We provide defense and dual telecommunications as well as Earth observation space capabilities to ensure states' sovereignty and citizens' safety
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Travel & navigate

Satellite systems provide the information that makes online maps and navigation apps a reality.
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