NovAtel Garners FAA Contract for 3rd-Generation WAAS Receiver

NovAtel G-III WAAS Reference Receiver

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has contracted with NovAtel Inc. to produce and deliver 176 Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) third-generation reference receivers (G-III).

The contract also includes engineering support for the G-III receiver as well as the current generation reference receiver (G-II), Geostationary Earth Orbit Uplink Subsystem – Type 1 (GUST) receiver, and Signal Generator (SIGGEN).


The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has contracted with NovAtel Inc. to produce and deliver 176 Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) third-generation reference receivers (G-III).

The contract also includes engineering support for the G-III receiver as well as the current generation reference receiver (G-II), Geostationary Earth Orbit Uplink Subsystem – Type 1 (GUST) receiver, and Signal Generator (SIGGEN).

The third-generation WAAS program is a technology refresh of the second-generation WAAS satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) currently in operation.  WAAS provides integrity monitoring, correction data, and increased satellite availability to GPS users within its coverage area.  The integrity monitoring features of the WAAS allow the use of GPS L1 C/A for safety-of-life applications and in particular for the civil aviation industry.  

The third-generation WAAS will monitor and augment the modernized GPS L5 signal, allowing aviation receivers to operate in two protected aviation frequency bands with assured integrity.

NovAtel’s reference receivers and uplink station equipment have been a central element of the WAAS since its inception.  The G-III reference receiver uses fully updated hardware and tracks all GPS signals including the legacy GPS L1 C/A, L2P(Y) (semi-codeless), and the modernized L2C, L5, L1C signals in addition to the WAAS L1 C/A  and L5 signals.

The WAAS G-III reference receiver provides a rich set of range measurement data, signal integrity metrics, and logs for processing by the system’s data communication processor.  The receiver architecture is designed to facilitate future expansion and reconfiguration to support the evolving needs of WAAS and other SBAS systems worldwide, including multi-constellation augmentation.

Jason Hamilton, NovAtel’s director of marketing, noted the long relationship with the FAA, adding that the company has worked closely with the WAAS program team to develop a third generation ground reference receiver “that carries over the pedigree of our first and second generation products, while adding features and processing capacity required for the modernized system.  The WAAS G-III was designed and tested specifically for ground reference networks requiring reliable continuous operation, high-longevity components, and DO-178B design assurance.”

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