There is now more precise GPS coverage across the U.S., thanks to the recent deployment of the FAA’s Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting 5 Wide Area Augmentation System navigation payload, which was developed by Raytheon‘s Intelligence, Information and Services business.
The GEO 5 payload joins two others already on orbit in correcting GPS satellite signal ionospheric disturbances, timing issues, and minor orbit adjustments, giving increased coverage, improved accuracy, and better reliability, according to Raytheon officials.
“GPS alone can’t meet the FAA’s stringent requirements for accuracy, integrity and availability,” said Matt Gilligan, vice president of Raytheon’s Navigation, Weather and Services mission area. “The WAAS network corrects even the slightest errors, and that provides peace of mind when it comes to safety of flight.”
In operation since 2003, WAAS increases GPS satellite signal accuracy from 10 meters to 1 meter, ensuring GPS signals meet rigorous air navigation performance and safety requirements for all classes of aircraft in all phases of flight, officials report.
WAAS provides precision navigation service to users across the United States from Maine to Alaska, as well as portions of Canada and Mexico.
WAAS offers pilots more direct flight paths, precision airport approaches and access to remote landing sites without depending on local ground-based landing systems, Raytheon officials explain.
Raytheon is the system integrator on the GEO 5 system, which includes a WAAS navigation payload on Eutelsat’s GEO satellite, two ComSAT ground sites, and SED Systems specialized equipment.