Aireon LLC has announced the successful completion of a service delivery point Factory Acceptance Test with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Ireland’s Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP). The test confirmed that the IAA’s service delivery equipment, a critical component for receiving global air traffic surveillance data, is performing to rigorous standards. This is the first major step towards deploying space-based ADS-B in Irish airspace, in addition to implementing Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (ALERT) service, Aireon’s free global emergency-tracking service hosted and operated by the IAA.
Completion of this first milestone clears the path for the additional steps needed to integrate space-based ADS-B data into an operational setting and provide Aireon ALERT to the world’s aviation stakeholders, including ANSPs, airlines, regulators and search and rescue organizations. The Factory Acceptance Test verified the system functionality and assembly. It also measured the associated hardware design elements. Aireon and the IAA are working towards additional milestones over the next 18 months, including Site Acceptance Testing, which will verify the system functionality, and Implementation Service Acceptance Testing to verify the accuracy of the data.
“This first milestone marks a significant advancement for the IAA in deploying space-based ADS-B in Irish airspace. This also moves us one step closer to rolling out Aireon ALERT to the world’s aviation stakeholders and search and rescue organizations,” said Peter Kearney, Director ATM Strategy and Operations, IAA. “With the success of the Factory Acceptance Test, we are moving towards providing this free public service for registered aviation stakeholders – with real-time tracking data -- the likes of which have never been available globally to the industry before. Our engineering team is rapidly working to ensure that Aireon ALERT will be fully operational in when it’s time to go live in 2018.”
“IAA is a globally recognized leader of air traffic management services, one of the key Aireon launch customers and also the host of Aireon ALERT. This is a major step in ensuring a secure and safe connection between Aireon’s system and the IAA,” said Vincent Capezzuto, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering, Aireon. “We will now be preparing for the first Iridium NEXT launch with SpaceX, scheduled for this summer, the IAA Site Acceptance Test, which will prove that ANSPs are able to receive global space-based ADS-B data at remote service delivery points and will meet all of the surveillance requirements. These are critical milestones, and we are well on our way to being operational in 2018.”
Aireon ALERT will be the only free service providing global coverage and GPS location and real-time tracking data to assist rescue coordination centers in emergency situations. Through a 24/7 communications facility, operated by the IAA at its North Atlantic Communications centre in Ballygirreen, Ireland, Aireon ALERT will make it possible to precisely query the location and flight track of any ADS-B equipped aircraft flying in distress.