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WAAS Architecture

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Title WAAS Architecture
Edited by GMV A.D.
Level Basic
Year of Publication 2011

The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is the United States Satellite Based Augmentation System. The programme, started in 1992, is being carried out by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA)[1] and is specially developed for the civil aviation community.[2] The system, which was declared operational in late 2003,[3] currently supports thousands of aircraft instrument approaches in more than one thousand airports in USA and Canada.[4] WAAS service area includes CONUS, Alaska, Canada and Mexico.[5] The WAAS programme is continuously in evolution; two development phases have been already covered, a third is in progress, and there are plans to improve the capability of the system in parallel with the evolution of the SBAS standards towards a dual-frequency augmentation service.[6]

WAAS Architecture

WAAS works by processing GPS data collected by a network of reference stations to generate the SBAS message which is uploaded to the GEO satellites. The GEO satellites broadcast this information to the user receivers, which compute the aircraft positioning and inform on potential alert messages.[7]

WAAS System

The main layers of WAAS architecture are:



  1. ^ Navigation Services - History - Satellite Navigation, FAA.
  2. ^ Navigation Services - Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), FAA.
  3. ^ Wide Area Differential GPS (WADGPS), Stanford University
  4. ^ GNSS - GPS/WAAS Approaches, Federal Aviation Agency (FAA).
  5. ^ WAAS Service Expanded into Canada and Mexico, September 28, 2007, Federal Aviation Agency (FAA).
  6. ^ SatNav News, Vol. 33, March 2008, Federal Aviation Agency (FAA).
  7. ^ a b FAA WAAS: How it works
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