Aireon LLC, developer of the world’s first space-based global air traffic surveillance service announced today that Harris Corporation finished production on all Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) 1090 Extended Squitter receiver payloads that will enable its global air traffic surveillance service. The 81 ADS-B payloads were completed ahead of schedule and represent the largest implementation of a hosted payload solution ever achieved.
Completion of these payloads represents another milestone toward deploying Aireon’s space-based ADS-B service and enabling real-time air traffic surveillance worldwide. The payloads are being incorporated into the Iridium NEXT satellites where they will operate as an independent global air traffic surveillance system. Each payload is designed to receive ADS-B messages containing position, speed and heading from aircraft and stream them to Aireon’s operations center, which will then distribute the information to Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and other customers.
“We partnered with Harris to build our hosted payloads based on their industry leadership in space systems and commitment to our joint success. By completing these payloads ahead of schedule, Harris demonstrated their world class capability to design and manufacture an unprecedented 81 payloads in a short period of time,” said Don Thoma, CEO, Aireon. “These highly sensitive payloads allow the reception of an aircraft's ADS-B messages from space, at a surveillance grade level, in real-time. Combined with the global capabilities and reliability of the Iridium NEXT satellites, it will create the world's first global air traffic surveillance service and enable ANSPs to meet safety and capacity goals, transforming the state of air traffic management.”
Aireon’s hosted payloads are based on Harris’ AppStarTM reconfigurable payload platform. In addition to assembly, Harris performed successful space qualification testing to confirm the payloads will withstand the harsh environment of space, while also ensuring their ability to adapt to evolving air traffic patterns during the course of their lifespan.
“Congratulations to the Aireon team for achieving this momentous milestone. Their drive and creativity will have a global impact for air travelers, as well as improve our environment, for years to come,” said Janet Nickloy, Vice President of Responsive ISR Programs, Harris Corporation Space and Intelligence Systems. “Harris is honored to contribute to this transformational capability and proud to join with Aireon and Iridium on setting the record for space-based hosted payloads.”
Aireon’s space-based ADS-B service will be operational in 2018, shortly after the completion of the Iridium NEXT constellation. The first Iridium NEXT launch is scheduled for this summer, when the company will launch 10 satellites using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket out of the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
“Hosting Aireon’s payloads is enabling them to get their systems into space at a fraction of the cost of launching a dedicated satellite solution,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “Iridium NEXT is the ideal platform for Aireon’s service because of its reliability and global coverage. We are proud to be part of the team enabling the next generation of air traffic surveillance.”