Aireon LLC

Aireon System

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Aireon will provide the first global air traffic surveillance system using a space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) network that will meet the strict, real-time Air Traffic Service (ATS) surveillance requirements for air traffic separation services, anywhere in the world. ADS-B is an air traffic surveillance technology that relies on the aircraft broadcasting their identity, a precise Global Positioning System (GPS) position and other information derived from onboard systems. The data is broadcast every half-second from the aircraft and is being used by Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) to identify and separate aircraft in real-time. ATS surveillance is clearly defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) but, put simply, it’s the ability to reliably, and in near-real-time detect key flight attributes such as position, level and intent. Space-based ADS-B will provide full, continuous, global air traffic surveillance, whereas before, 70 percent of the world had no access to ATS surveillance information (i.e. the oceans, polar regions, mountainous regions, jungles, deserts). This will significantly improve Air Traffic Management (ATM) safety, efficiency, predictability and capacity, while reducing overall infrastructure costs.


The backbone of Aireon’s technology resides on the Iridium NEXT constellation of satellites, scheduled for eight launches through the beginning of 2019. Iridium’s next generation satellite constellation will deliver exciting new innovations and opportunities, while ensuring continued high performance and reliability, far into the future. To enable the Aireon system, Iridium will host specially designed receivers on each Iridium NEXT satellite, covering 100 percent of the globe. Iridium NEXT’s low-latency, 66 cross-linked Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites make it uniquely suited to meet the technical demands of global air traffic surveillance and tracking.


The LEO satellites will orbit approximately 485 miles above the earth and each satellite will be linked to four others, creating a dynamic network to ensure continuous availability, everywhere on the planet. Each Iridium NEXT satellite will be linked to four others – two in the same orbital plane and one in each adjacent plane – creating a dynamic mesh network that routes traffic among satellites to ensure a continuous connection, everywhere. This unique configuration will allow services using the Iridium network to continue to remain unaffected by natural disasters, including hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes that can cripple terrestrial infrastructure.


Iridium NEXT:

Iridium NEXT is hosting the Aireon system. It is the only satellite constellation with the capability and reach to enable global air traffic surveillance. This is all due to its orbital configuration. The configuration provides complete global coverage, including oceanic and polar regions, without the need for ground stations. The LEO altitude allows the aircraft signals to be received in space without any additional equipment or changes to the existing aircraft avionics. The intersatellite communications links will enable real-time delivery information to ATC to support aircraft separation services. No other system, existing or planned, will enable such an opportunity for aviation stakeholders.


Aireon Services: 


Aireon’s global ADS-B coverage will provide aviation stakeholders with improved ATM safety, efficiency, predictability and capacity, while reducing overall infrastructure costs.


Global Air Traffic Surveillance:

Space-based ADS-B extends the same ADS-B technology currently received on ground-based receivers to space. Aireon’s high-performance payloads, hosted on the new Iridium NEXT LEO satellite constellation, will receive aircraft ADS-B messages with an exact level of precision and security, and relay them to ATCs in real-time. There are a total of 66 Iridium NEXT satellites, with significant overlap and redundancy, built in the system to provide a safety-of-life service to the aviation industry. As a turn-key surveillance solution, space-based ADS-B will allow for cost-effective, seamless and rapid implementation to meet future capacity needs and support compliance with regulatory requirements. Additionally, by providing surveillance in remote regions, new routes and a multitude of benefits can be provided to all aviation stakeholders.



GlobalBeacon is a first of its kind product from Aireon and FlightAware that provides the most cost-effective and easy to deploy solution for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS). Beginning in November 2018, airlines and aircraft operators will be expected to track their fleet anywhere in the world at a frequency of one position every 15 minutes during normal operations. By 2021, they will need to automatically receive positions once-per-minute for aircraft in distress. By combining FlightAware’s data processing platform and web-interface with Aireon’s space-based ADS-B network, GlobalBeacon transcends borders and Flight Information Regions (FIRs) and provides 100% global coverage, including over deserts, polar airspace and oceanic regions. With GlobalBeacon, airlines and aircraft operators are able to exceed GADSS standards and recommended practices for flight tracking.


Aireon ALERT:

Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (ALERT) is the aviation industry’s first and only free, real-time emergency aircraft location service. Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), aircraft operators, regulators and search and rescue organizations in need of crucial aircraft location data, can rely on Aireon ALERT to help provide an ADS-B OUT 1090MHz equipped aircraft’s most recently known position in an emergency situation. As a free service, Aireon ALERT will fill a critical need, ensuring search and rescue personnel have the most accurate aircraft position data available when responding to an incident, regardless of global location. Aireon ALERT will utilize Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data and will be operated by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).


Analytical ADS-B Data:

Aireon’s space-based ADS-B service will create an archive of aircraft location and movements of all ADS-B equipped aircraft worldwide. This will be a repository of information to support stakeholder analysis and reporting of aviation trends and performance. For the first time, one data set will be available of actual aircraft movements on a worldwide level. The Aireon data will provide accurate aircraft location and ADS-B message information to support global air traffic analysis, airspace and air route design, capacity and resources planning, predictability analysis for arrivals and departures and fleet optimization. An accurate data set of global and regional air traffic promises to significantly enhance the analytical capabilities of the aviation industry.

Aireon System

1750 Tysons Boulevard
Suite 1150
United States

Phone: +1 703 287 7400

Fax: +1 703 287 7450



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