ATM Modernization, Embedded Avionics

FAA Contracts NovAtel For WAAS Modernization

By Nick Zazulia | January 4, 2019
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NovAtel GUS Signal Generator back

The back of a NovAtel GUS signal Generator. (NovAtel)

The FAA has granted NovAtel a contract for 40 ground uplink station signal generators to help modernize its wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) navigation service network.

Under the contract, NovAtel will design and produce the next-generation units as well as provide engineering support for its satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) products which the FAA uses, such as the WAAS G-III reference receiver platform.

The ground uplink station signal generators will include independent L1 and L5 signal paths to control frequency and phase of code and carrier for dual-frequency SBAS. A receiver system based on the WAAS G-III receiver platform will also be released along with the signal generator to aid in upgrading and extending the WAAS network's infrastructure and the control loop of the ground uplink station, according to NovAtel.

"We have a long history with the FAA and have worked very closely with the WAAS program team to develop multiple-generations of SBAS infrastructure," said Jonathan Auld, NovAtel vice president of engineering and safety-critical systems. "NovAtel remains committed to supporting the FAA and their safety of life WAAS service, and we are excited to deliver this critical next-generation technology for SBAS modernization."

The WAAS is a safety-critical navigation aid first implemented in 2003 that corrects and enhances information provided by GPS satellites to give commercial and civilian pilots more precise approach and departure guidance. During 2018, the FAA tasked Leidos and Intelsat with developing the latest geostationary Earth orbit satellites and payloads that will be used in the WAAS network.

NovAtel is not yet sharing a timeline for the signal generator installations, according to a company representative.

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