Iridium Satellites Host Aireon’s Space-Based Air Traffic Surveillance Tech

Iridium Communications‘ fifth set of NEXT satellites that launched Friday includes Aireon-built global air traffic surveillance technology payloads.

Aireon said Friday its Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system is designed to provide aircraft tracking coverage with a 15-minute update interval and help airlines test aircraft tracking systems via space-based ADS-B.

The International Civil Aviation Organization and European Aviation Safety Agency require that planes be equipped with the technology by the end of 2018.

Don Thoma, CEO of Aireon, said the company partnered with multiple air navigation service providers and FlightAware to provide airlines access to global data prior to the implementation of the ICAO and EASA regulations.

“As we get closer to a fully operational system, thorough testing and validation is now underway with our customers and partners,” Thoma added.

Aireon and FlightAware have produced a system that will offer access to ADS-B information through the latter’s data processing platform and web interface.

Both companies developed GlobalBeacon in an effort to help airlines comply with ICAO Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System standards.

FlightAware will also offer ADS-B data through services currently available to airlines and providers such as SITAONAIR.

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