FAA Improves GPS Coverage and Accuracy with Raytheon's GEO 5 Navigation Payload

The US FAA’s Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting 5 Wide Area Augmentation System navigation payload, developed by Raytheon is now operational and fully integrated into the WAAS network.

The GEO 5 payload joins two others already in orbit to correct GPS satellite signal ionospheric disturbances, timing issues, and minor orbit adjustments, giving users increased coverage, improved accuracy, and better reliability. According to Matt Gilligan, VP of Raytheon's Navigation, Weather and Services mission area, GPS alone can't meet the FAA's stringent requirements for accuracy, integrity and availability. The WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) network corrects even the slightest errors, and that provides peace of mind when it comes to the safety of flights.

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. It provides precision navigation service to users across the United States from Maine to Alaska, as well as portions of Canada and Mexico. For aviation users, 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 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.