20 Years (and Counting) with the FAA and WAAS

COMSAT teleport

Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is an extremely accurate navigation system developed for civil aviation by the FAA and the DOT to augment the GPS system with the goal of improving its accuracy, integrity, and availability. WAAS uses GEO satellites to relay GPS correction and integrity information to users for commercial air navigation and other purposes.

With more than 20 years of WAAS program experience, COMSAT continues to demonstrate high quality, on-schedule performance. Our Southbury Teleport is the birthplace of today’s WAAS system. The teleport was used to facilitate the WAAS proof of concept working with the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center and utilizing the retired Marisat satellite forward transponder. This led to the implementation of the FAA’s National Satellite Test Bed that was built, operated and maintained at the Southbury teleport. Southbury also facilitated Inmarsat’s in-orbit testing of the Navigation payload aboard Inmarsat’s third generation satellites. Since that time COMSAT has designed, delivered, and operated GUSs at our Santa Paula, CA and Southbury, CT teleports for additional WAAS generations. Our technical, engineering, and program management personnel have gained firsthand knowledge of WAAS operational requirements and direct experience in meeting its high operational standards.


COMSAT plays a key role in the implementation of the fifth generation FAA WAAS system that began operation with the Satmex 9 satellite on March 27, 2018. Our Santa Paula and Southbury facilities are both provisioned to provide uplink/downlink sites for the WAAS GEO 5 program. We also maintain the major components that are required to meet the strict mandates of the FAA for WAAS uplink services to Satmex 9, including the dedicated antenna and shelter facilities.


Until November 2017, COMSAT maintained the major components that were required to meet the strict mandates of the FAA for WAAS uplink services to the Inmarsat-4 F3 (I4F3), including dedicated antennas and shelter facilities. The Santa Paula teleport was being used to provide the backup GEO Uplink Subsystem Type-1 (GUST) facility required for WAAS operation with the navigation transponder onboard the I4F3 satellite.

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