FAA WAAS will add 7th GEO satellite augmenting GPS navigation capabilities

RESTON, Va. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials issued a task order to Leidos to develop the 7th 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.

Under this order, , along with space-segment provider Intelsat General Corporation and technology partners U.S. Electrodynamics, Inc. (USEI) and Knight Sky, will develop, test and integrate a payload for the program's new GEO 7 satellite and its associated pair of ground uplink stations. The stations then broadcast Global Positioning System () 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.

The task order supports the WAAS, a safety-critical system that augments GPS 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.

Work will be performed in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The GEO 7 payload is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2020. The system will enter its 10-year operational phase in 2021.

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