Raytheon Upgrades FAA Satellite Navigation System

Matt Gilligan, Raytheon IIS

Matt Gilligan, Raytheon IIS

Raytheon Co. has delivered the Wide Area Augmentation System Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting 6 satellite navigation payload to the Federal Aviation Administration to broadcast correction in errors in GPS satellite signals, provide expanded coverage, improve accuracy and increase reliability.

Developed by Raytheon, the WAAS is a North American satellite-based augmentation system that increases GPS satellite signal precision approach at 200 ft altitude to meet strict air navigation performance and safety requirements for all classes of aircraft in all phases of flight. The WAAS GEO 6 payload is currently operational, fully integrated into the WAAS network and working with two other WAAS satellite payload in orbit.

The WAAS network consists of three geostationary satellites and 49 terrestrial-based stations dispersed across the continental U.S. in addition to Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Mexico. It’s been operational since 2003.

Matt Gilligan, vice president of Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business, said precise GPS signal has never been more important in ensuring safety of flight.

“As the airspace increases in complexity, there is absolutely no room for error,” he added.

The SES-15 satellite, which hosts the GEO 6 payload, was launched in 2017 and completed system integration in July 2019. GEO 6 replaces a geostationary satellite that had reached end-of-service lifespan.

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