The second satellite with a payload that will support air navigation enhancements for the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) has been deployed for Lockheed Martin by the PanAmSat Corporation. The PanAmSat Galaxy 15 satellite, carrying a dual C-band and L-band payload, was launched today from Kourou, French Guiana.
The launch is integral to Lockheed Martin's work on the FAA's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) Geostationary Communications and Control Segment (GCCS) initiative, which supports a move toward satellite-based navigation to make air traffic management safer, more reliable and more accurate. Satellite- based navigation is a core requirement for future air traffic systems.
"This navigation payload establishes a vital base for providing en route and vertical guidance to aircraft at thousands of North American airports and airstrips," said Sue Corcoran, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Aviation Solutions business. "The successful launch of Galaxy 15 with the L-band navigation payload solidifies Lockheed Martin's position as a premier supplier for the broadcast of satellite-based navigation services to the FAA."
A vital building block of WAAS-based broadcast services for aviation use, the GCCS creates additional user signals to improve system reliability. The Telesat Anik F1R satellite with a GCCS payload was launched in early September.
"These new satellites with improved orbital locations and increased transmit power gives our customer significantly increased availability of the WAAS service across the FAA's National Airspace System," Corcoran added.
Under FAA's GCCS contract, Lockheed Martin and its teammates will provide ground uplink stations that receive global positioning system (GPS) correction and integrity data from the WAAS monitoring network, and then broadcast the data to geostationary communications satellites for delivery to users. In aviation use, a WAAS broadcast message allows an improvement of GPS-base position accuracy from 10 meters (33 feet) to approximately 2 meters (7 feet). This improved accuracy enables instrument landing operations at previously unsupported airfields.
Lockheed Martin and the FAA will perform 12 months of segment and system level integration and test prior to the WAAS GCCS service going operational in October 2006. The FAA contract supporting these enhancements is valued at $314 million. Lockheed Martin was awarded this contract in 2003.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.
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