Aireon has formally received control from Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) of the first Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) payload hosted on an Iridium NEXT satellite, a major milestone on the path towards 100% global air traffic surveillance, the company said.
Aireon now begins a rigorous, in-depth testing and validation process, verifying the capability of the ADS-B payloads. Known as an Initial Performance Verification (IPV), this process will last approximately two weeks before transitioning to a Detailed Performance Verification (DPV) that will focus more specifically on calibrating the payloads for optimal performance.
Procedures for the IPV were under development for over a year with valuable insight provided by Iridium, Harris Corporation, NAV CANADA, and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Aireon´s space-based ADS-B system will be operational in 2018, shortly after completion of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. The service will provide Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) with global air traffic surveillance and airlines with real-time flight tracking. It is expected to help reduce fuel costs, increase safety, and enable more efficient flight paths.
Aireon is deploying a global, space-based ADS-B system capable of surveilling and tracking ADS-B equipped aircraft around the globe in real-time. Coverage will span oceanic, polar, and remote regions, where current surveillance systems are limited to line-of-site and densely populated areas.
In partnership with NAV CANADA, ENAV, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), and Naviair, as well as Iridium Communications, Aireon is developing an operational, global, space-based air traffic surveillance system expected to be available by 2018.