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As Satellites Launch, Aireon’s System Nears Debut

Seven years after it started developing an aircraft surveillance system based on satellites, the Aireon joint venture of Iridium Communications, Nav Canada and other partners is close to providing air navigation service providers (ANSP) the “complete visibility” over oceanic and polar regions that it originally promised.

Aireon’s core business will be to provide aircraft surveillance data to subscribing ANSPs. Through a partnership with flight-tracking data company FlightAware, it is supporting a web-based tracking dashboard for airlines called GlobalBeacon. And its space-based automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) network will be available to airlines, ANSPs and search-and-rescue organizations as a public service to locate missing aircraft in emergency situations.

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