NovAtel contracted to supply signal generators for FAA’s WAAS program

January 4, 2019  - By
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NovAtel has been awarded a contract from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to design, produce and deliver 40 next-generation Ground Uplink Station (GUS) Signal Generators to support the FAA’s safety-of-life WAAS navigation service. The service provides safety-critical infrastructure for the North American aviation navigation network.

GUS signal generator. (Photo: NovAtel)

GUS signal generator. (Photo: NovAtel)

The contract also includes ongoing engineering support services for NovAtel’s complete portfolio of satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) products deployed by the FAA, including the WAAS G-III reference receiver platform.

The FAA has relied on NovAtel’s safety-critical SBAS technology for more than 20 years, starting with NovAtel’s first-generation WAAS reference receiver that was created in the 1990s.

Developed by the FAA, the WAAS network is a safety-critical navigation aid that allows aircraft to use GPS for all phases of flight. Every time an aircraft takes off or lands within the WAAS coverage area, NovAtel technology is generating and processing data that allows aviators to make precision approaches to any airport.

Since the program’s inception, NovAtel has provided the FAA with technology that delivers high-precision GPS receiver measurements and navigation information from WAAS Reference Stations and the GUS infrastructure.

Under this new contract, NovAtel will help modernize the WAAS network by upgrading and extending support for the network’s GUS infrastructure. The next-generation of GUS signal generators, which are designed specifically for SBAS ground uplink systems, will include independent L1 and L5 signal paths to precisely control the frequency and phase of L1 and L5 code and carrier for dual-frequency SBAS.

A GUS receiver system based on the WAAS G-III receiver platform will also be released along with the signal generator to complete the modernized GUS control loop.

“We have a long history with the FAA and have worked very closely with the WAAS program team to develop multiple-generations of SBAS infrastructure,” said Jonathan Auld, vice president of engineering and safety critical systems at NovAtel. “NovAtel remains committed to supporting the FAA and their safety of life WAAS service and we are excited to deliver this critical next-generation technology for SBAS modernization.”

About the Author:


Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s sister website, Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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