A little more than a century after the first-ever machine-powered flight, it seems the next big aviation innovation may come from beyond the sky. Andrew Tunnicliffe talks with Aireon about how transformative space-based ADS-B is proving to be in airspace management.
“The US has deployed 635 plus towers around continental US, Alaska and Hawaii to get this information. But, like radar, there is a significant amount of airspace uncovered,” says Aireon CEO Don Thorma, who adds that analysis has shown that over 70% of the world is uncovered by ground-based radar or ADS-B collectively.
“That [lack of coverage] really opened up the potential for a system like Aireon. By putting this on a network of satellites, we’re able to provide 100% full global coverage with a dataset.”