Satellite Technology Feature Article
Industry Leaders Discuss Aireon's Impact Over Space-Based Air Traffic Surveillance
By Nathesh, TMCnet Contributor
NAV CANADA and Iridium’ (News - Alert) joint venture, called Aireon, reportedly leverages Iridium’s NEXT hosted payload capability and will be equipping Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) with surveillance capability.
Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Norman Mineta along with Don Thoma (News - Alert), CEO and president of the newly-formed Aireon, Iridium CEO Matt Desch, and NAV CANADA CEO John Crichton recently discussed the benefits of space-based air traffic surveillance at a press conference hosted by Iridium. The Aireon service should be available to air navigation service provider customers from 2017 onwards.
In air traffic surveillance, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) systems are the recognized next-generation standard but today’s land-based surveillance systems cover only 10 percent of the Earth’s surface and with the ever increasing air traffic the features of ADS-B should be extended to cover the entire planet.
With Aireon service, air traffic management agencies around the globe are able for the first time to continuously track aircraft in near-real time anywhere in the world including over oceans and remote regions where coverage is simply not currently possible. Aireon will be supported by U.S. Federal Aviation Administration along with suppliers Harris Corporation (News - Alert) and ITT Exelis.
NAV CANADA is one of the largest air navigation services in the world by traffic volume and it provides air traffic management for 1,200 flights per day. The company stated that it is going to be Aireon’s first customer to deploy the new satellite-based surveillance capability in its North Atlantic airspace operations.
Iridium added that it is the only company with the capability to extend the reach of land-based aircraft tracking systems across the globe and it is also thrilled about the contribution it is providing to make air traffic more efficient and safer. Space-qualified ADS-B receivers will be built into each of Iridium NEXT’s 66 next-generation low-Earth orbit (LEO) cross-linked satellites in order to fructify the Aireon venture.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman