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1090 Global

Aireon & Embry-Riddle Partner to Advance Aviation Safety, Expand Research Opportunities


Among the myriad benefits introduced by the first-ever, space-based ADS-B network, increased opportunities to critically examine air traffic surveillance on a comprehensively global scale is one of the most significant.

To advance aviation safety scholarship—and to expand research opportunities for the benefit of the entire aviation community—a new partnership between Aireon and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) will provide the institution with access to our global, space-based ADS-B data.

From students and faculty, to ERAU’s labs and ATC test bed, the university is the first in the world to receive access to the data, and the partnership is expected to strengthen explorations into key industry topics like safety and operational efficiency—and provides opportunities for meta-analyses as well.

“ERAU will now have the ability to offer students new ways to analyze air traffic surveillance data in oceanic and terrestrial airspace to benefit safety, efficiency and operations—as well as exploring topics around the analysis and commercialization of big data,” says Dr. Mike Williams, Dean of ERAU David B. O’Maley College of Business.

Aireon will also partner with ERAU through the school’s Business Eagle program—providing high-performing undergraduate and graduate students with additional training and experience to better prepare them for their transitions into professional life. ERAU also routinely collaborates with industry partners to facilitate commercially-applicable innovations, research opportunities and related activities relevant to aviation and aerospace.

According to Cyriel Kronenburg, Vice President of Aviation Services at Aireon, “this partnership is a representative example of the company’s ongoing efforts to identify innovative opportunities to leverage space-based ADS-B data beyond their obvious uses. The data generated by our global air traffic surveillance system opens up fascinating research opportunities, and partnering with a learning institution, like Embry-Riddle, to scrutinize, evaluate and apply this data to research endeavors will be hugely beneficial to everyone in the aviation industry.”

Having recently received control of the final ADS-B payload from Iridium—hosted on the Iridium® NEXT satellite constellation—the Aireon system is scheduled to go live during the Q1 of 2019, with North Atlantic operational trials in collaboration with Air Navigation Service Providers NAV CANADA and NATS.

Once operational, the Aireon system will provide key aviation stakeholders with a real-time, global picture of international air traffic for the first time in history. Among the system’s benefits are enhanced air travel safety, faster route adjustments, more direct flightpaths, improved fuel efficiency—saving airlines billions of dollars in fuel costs—and increased predictability, enabling safer and more effective air traffic management.