Space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) services moved another step closer on 30 March, after Iridium launched its fifth batch of NEXT satellites with an Aireon payload.
There are now 50 Aireon-equipped satellites in orbit, out of the 66 planned to be operational by the end of 2018, when ICAO Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) standards come into force. The NEXT constellation includes an additional 15 spares (nine in orbit and six on the ground), all of which will include the Aireon payload.
Speaking to Jane’s during World ATM Congress in March 2018, Aireon CEO Don Thoma confirmed that extensive testing and validation work continues with air navigation service provider (ANSP) customers.
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