The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's satellite-based Air Navigation System, developed by Raytheon, marks 10 years of continuous operation in the United States this year.
The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) was officially commissioned by the FAA for public aviation use in July 2003, and since then has continuously transmitted an enhanced and 100 percent reliable Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite signal that meets air navigation performance requirements for en route, terminal, non-precision approach and precision approach phases of flight.
"WAAS has met or exceeded all of its signal in space requirements for more than a decade without disruption," said Joseph Paone, director of Raytheon's Air Traffic Systems. "Pilots are now enjoying all-weather access to thousands of airports."
With the certification of WAAS, the FAA became the first air navigation service provider in the world to make precision navigation signals via satellite available for aircraft use.
WAAS uses ground-based facilities to monitor and correct conventional GPS signals before diverting them to WAAS-capable satellite navigation receivers in aircraft. This provides safe and precise horizontal and vertical approach guidance to all runway ends without any ground equipment at the airport.
WAAS supplies reliable, all-altitude navigation signals, even in remote and mountainous areas. It also saves jet fuel and reduces noise and emissions by helping aircraft achieve the ideal glide path as they approach landing with little need for engine thrusting.
Raytheon is the world's leading provider of satellite-based augmentation technology. In addition to the U.S. WAAS program, the company's technology is used on the Japanese Multi Functional Transport Satellite system as well and on India's GPS-Aided Geo-Augmented Navigation system, GAGAN, which is scheduled to go into operation later this year.
A global leader in air traffic management, Raytheon has 60 years of experience providing solutions for civil and military customers in more than 60 countries covering 60 percent of the world's airspace. The company is committed to supporting safety, efficiency, reduced environmental impact and enhanced security in the world's airspace by providing the industry's most innovative and comprehensive portfolio of proven air traffic management solutions.