The FAA recently awarded Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S), a Raytheon Technologies business, with a contract to modernize the Wide-Area Augmentation System (WAAS), providing a technical refresh and Dual Frequency Operation (DFO) upgrades to the space-based precision navigation system.
The competitive indefinite delivery indefinite quantity contract has a ceiling value of $375 million over the next 10 years, according to a news release. Task orders, valued at $215 million, were executed at contract.
The satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) provides GPS corrections for critical navigation for aviation, first responders and other government agencies. It enables pilots to fly using augmented GPS data for safety of life missions such as precision landing and navigation enroute, and to land safely in places inaccessible before because of airport location and/or weather. It also makes airports without ground-based navigation available to pilots.
Under the WAAS DFO-2 contract, RI&S will deliver more modern and sustainable processing, system security and network architecture, while also adding dual frequency service to increase system accuracy, integrity, and availability when subject to ionospheric perturbations, including solar storms.
Raytheon Technologies has been the prime development contractor for WAAS since 1996 and, along with the FAA, has developed and fielded dozens of enhancements since the system reached initial operational capability in 2003.
“There is no margin for error during take-off, flight or landing,” said Denis Donohue, president, Surveillance & Network Systems at RI&S, according to the release. “Our modernization effort for WAAS will improve system robustness during ionospheric events and ensure safety-of-life requirements continue to be met.”