Raytheon's New Payload to Improve GPS Accuracy for Safer and Efficient Air Travel

Raytheon has launched its GEO 6 satellite payload into orbit for a 12 year mission. It is the latest payload to support the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) which enhances the reliability and accuracy of Global Positioning System signals for directing air travel.

The Raytheon-developed payload is a key element of the WAAS System, which offers commercial, business, and general aviation pilots more direct flight paths, greater runway capability and precision approaches to airports and remote landing sites without dependence on local ground-based landing systems.

In June 2016, Raytheon launched WAAS GEO 5 which was recently accepted by the FAA for integration into the operational WAAS system. Both WAAS GEO 5 and GEO 6 were launched to replace aging satellites and enhance GPS precision for the FAA. WAAS increases GPS accuracy from 10 meters to approximately two meters and supports nearly all of the national airspace.

The WAAS GEO 6 payload is hosted on a geostationary satellite, SES-15, owned and operated by SES. The satellite was successfully launched from Arianespace's Guiana Space Center in French Guiana aboard a Soyuz launch vehicle.