Raytheon has delivered the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting (GEO) 6 satellite navigation payload to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to broadcast the WAAS message, which corrects errors in GPS satellite signals, provides expanded coverage, improves accuracy and increases reliability. The WAAS GEO 6 payload is now operational and fully integrated into the WAAS network, working with two other WAAS satellite payloads already in orbit.
Developed and installed by Raytheon for the FAA, WAAS is a North American satellite-based augmentation system that increases GPS satellite signal accuracy for 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.
"Never has a consistent and precise GPS signal been more critical to ensuring safety of flight," said Matt Gilligan, vice president of Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business. "As the airspace increases in complexity, there is absolutely no room for error."
WAAS contains space and ground equipment that works together to identify GPS satellite corrections. The SES-15 satellite hosting Raytheon's WAAS GEO 6 payload was launched in 2017 and completed extensive system integration in July 2019. GEO 6 replaces an older WAAS geostationary satellite that had reached its end-of-service life.
Operational since 2003, the WAAS network consists of three geostationary satellites and 49 terrestrial-based stations dispersed across the continental U.S., as well as Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Mexico.