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Aireon ADS-B Payload Installed on Iridium Satellite, Moves Closer to Global Aircraft Tracking

By Juliet Van Wagenen | June 1, 2015
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Aireon global space-based ADS-B diagram
Aireon global space-based ADS-B diagram. Photo: Aireon

[Avionics Today 06-01-2015] Iridium Communications has completed the first successful integration of the Aireon payload on an Iridium Next satellite. This is a key technical milestone toward the first launch of Iridium Next and the first demonstration of the Aireon air traffic surveillance capability.

The forthcoming Aireon service will be deployed using space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receivers built into each of the 66 satellites in Iridium Next, Iridium’s second-generation satellite constellation. Iridium Next is scheduled to launch between 2015 and 2017, with full Aireon service expected to be available in 2018.

In partnership with leading Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSP) and investors such as Nav Canada, Italy’s ENAV, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), and Naviair, as well as Iridium, the Aireon space-based ADS-B system aims to make all ADS-B equipped aircraft visible, by relaying aircraft position and status information to Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) on the ground.

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