Embedded Avionics

FAA Tasks Leidos with GPS-augmenting WAAS Satellite for $117M

By Kendall Russell | April 9, 2018
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The wide area augmentation system. Photo courtesy of the FAA

The FAA has awarded Leidos a task order to develop the seventh-generation geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) satellite used for the FAA wide area augmentation system (WAAS). The task order has a four-year development phase and one 10-year operations and maintenance phase with a total contract value of approximately $117 million.

WAAS is a safety-critical system that augments global positioning system standard positioning service (SPS). WAAS enables aircraft to rely on GPS for all phases of flight, including precision approaches to any airport within its service area.

Leidos, along with space-segment provider Intelsat General and technology partners U.S. Electrodynamics and Knight Sky, will develop, test and integrate a satellite payload for the program’s new GEO 7 satellite and its associated pair of ground uplink stations. The stations then broadcast GPS navigation data that is corrected and enhanced for accuracy. Leidos will also manage the stations to ensure the satellite sends the augmented GPS navigation signals in line with WAAS requirements.

FAA expects the GEO 7 payload to launch in the first quarter of 2020. The system will enter its 10-year operational phase in 2021.

This was originally published on sister publication Via Satellite.

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