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Raytheon awarded FAA contract to upgrade WAAS to dual-frequency

September 17, 2022  - By
WAAS makes airports without ground-based navigation available to pilots. (Photo: Raytheon)

WAAS makes airports without ground-based navigation available to pilots. (Photo: Raytheon)

WAAS monitors and evaluates all GPS signals over North America to enable pilots to fly using augmented GPS data for precision landing and enroute navigation

Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, has been awarded a competitive indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract from the Federal Aviation Administration with a ceiling value of $375 million over the next 10 years.

Task orders, valued at $215 million, were executed at contract award to provide technical refresh and dual-frequency operation (DFO) upgrades to the FAA’s Wide-Area Augmentation System (WAAS) to provide safer air travel in support of the National Airspace System.

WAAS monitors and evaluates all GPS signals over North America to enable pilots to fly using augmented GPS data for safety-of-life missions such as precision landing and enroute navigation. The system allows pilots to safely land in places previously inaccessible because of the airport location or weather. It also makes airports without ground-based navigation available to pilots.

Under the WAAS DFO-2 contract, Raytheon will deliver more modern, and therefore sustainable, processing, system security, and network architecture, while also adding dual-frequency service.

“There is no margin for error during take-off, flight or landing,” said Denis Donohue, president, Surveillance & Network Systems at Raytheon Intelligence & Space. “Our modernization effort for WAAS will improve system robustness during ionospheric events and ensure safety-of-life requirements continue to be met.”

WAAS is a satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) that provides GPS corrections for critical navigation for the aviation community, first responders and other government agencies, ensuring pilots can land safely in austere environments, despite weather challenges. It also provides corrections for SBAS-capable receivers in use across a diverse set of communities, including agriculture, maritime and surveying, among others.

Raytheon Technologies has been the prime development contractor for WAAS since 1996. Since reaching initial operational capability in 2003, Raytheon and the FAA have developed and fielded dozens of enhancements expanding WAAS’ precision approach capability, coverage area, and reliability, including improvements to the system infrastructure in preparation for dual-frequency service.

WAAS dual-frequency service will enable increased system accuracy, integrity and availability when subject to ionospheric perturbations, including solar storms. Work for this effort is based in Fullerton, California.

About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the 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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