Aireon’s New Global Aircraft Surveillance Service a Game Changer

Aireon space-based ADS-B for global air traffic surveillance. Credit: Aireon.

Now that all of its aircraft surveillance receivers have launched as hosted payloads on the Iridium Next satellite constellation, Aireon is within months of going live with a game changing service.

This weeks guest on the SpaceQ podcast is Vinny Capezzuto, the Chief Technology Officer of Aireon.

Aireon started as a partnership between Iridium and Air Navigation Service Provider NAV Canada. From its founding in 2012 to today the partnership added several other Air Navigation Service Providers including ENAV from Italy, NATS from the UK, Naviair from Denmark and Irelands IAA.

Aireon has hosted Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receivers built into each of the 66 satellites in the Iridium NEXT constellation which had its last batch of satellites successfully launched earlier this month by SpaceX.

Aireon’s space-based ADS-B will for the first time in history provide global data to track airplanes in real time. At present only 30% of the Earth is covered, primarily land area. When the system is fully operational later this year, the roughly 70% of the Earth, primarily oceanic and remote areas, that didn’t have ADS-B receiver coverage, will now be covered.

For the aviation industry this is a game changer. In emergency situations having real-time situational awareness of what’s happening to a plane will be available. As well, knowing the precise location of aircraft will lead to other benefits including reducing pilot response time to weather events, reducing the required separation gaps between aircraft, and addressing navigational errors before they become large issues. For the airlines, it should mean cost savings as planes will should be able to fly more efficient routes saving on time and fuel.

As you’ll hear from Vinny, he provides historical context to what their new service means, as well as explaining the technology advances, and briefly discussing the business case.

Listen in.

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About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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