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Aireon Discloses Flight-Tracking Trials, Activates Service

Aireon, an aircraft tracking firm, announced that it has initiated service with its space-based sensor network from this week. The firm will be involved in global monitoring of aircraft site and velocity on a near real-time basis. At a news conference, Don Thoma, CEO, Aireon, said, “Today is when we start generating revenue.”

Thoma added that the U.K. and Canada air traffic regulators have started tests with Aireon’s service, focusing on flight paths across the North Atlantic Ocean. Aireon’s sensor network travels on the Iridium Next constellation, which involves about 66 functional satellites, six ground spares, and nine orbiting spares all equipped with Aireon sensors. NATS and NAV Canada are both customers and investors for Aireon. Citing about 11 customer commitments and Aireon’s service activation, Thoma stated that the firm should be in a cash flow positive position by next year. However, he refused to state how much profits Aireon expects this year.

On a similar note, Aireon came into the news as Thales and Aireon disclosed that both the firms are extending their collaboration through a novel MoA (Memorandum of Agreement). This MoA intends to implement a novel approach to worldwide air traffic surveillance. Both the firms aim to deal with the fact that more than 70% of the world’s surface is still not covered by conventional surveillance platforms, such as primary or secondary radars.

In January 2019, the deployment of the 75 Iridium NEXT satellites, which have an ability to carry the Aireon payloads, was completed successfully. The latest MoA is focused on positioning space-based ADS-B data into the Thales aviation data platform ECOSystem. This would help in backing applications including CDM (Collaborative Decision Making), ATFM (Air Traffic Flow Management), and UTM (UAS Traffic Management). The latest MoA expands on a 2015 deal completed by the parties which started a framework for assessing as well as validating data assimilation into the air traffic management system by Thales TopSky-ATC.

Stephen Baxter

Stephen  Baxter —with a degree in Astrophysics and experience of 4 years—serves as a content writer in our organization. He is given the responsibility to write blogs and news articles relating to the outer space and galaxies, findings & discoveries, new satellite & spacecraft liftoffs, new inventions & innovations, and much more. In spare time, Stephen helps kids in their science projects and assignments and also likes to travel around & wander new places.

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