wide-area augmentation system

Wide-Area Augmentation System

[¦wīd ¦er·ē·ə ȯg·mən′tā·shən ‚sis·təm]
(navigation)
A satellite-based augmentation system developed by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States. Abbreviated WAAS.

wide-area augmentation system (WAAS)

wide-area augmentation system (WAAS)click for a larger image
The WAAS is a satellite navigation system consisting of the equipment and software that augment the GPS (global positioning system) Standard Positioning Service (SPS). The WAAS provides enhanced integrity, accuracy, availability, and continuity over and above the GPS and the SPS. The differential correction function provides the improved accuracy required for precision approaches. This augmentation of the GPS system will permit its use as a primary means of navigation for en route travel, non-precision approaches, and CAT I approach capability at some airports.
WAAS is based on a network of approximately 35 ground reference stations located in the Continental United States. Each of these reference receivers is precisely surveyed, enabling each to determine any error in the GPS signal being received at the station. The error is then fed to the master station computer which calculates correction algorithms and assess the integrity of the entire GPS system. The data is then up linked to a communication satellite in a geostationary orbit. This communication satellite forwards the correction signal to the aircraft's GPS receiver. The aircraft receiver then makes necessary adjustments to provide improved positioning accuracy. The communication satellites also act as GPS navigation satellites, thus adding to the number of satellites in the GPS constellation.
References in periodicals archive ?
Satmex's commissioning of a payload from Boeing follows the agreement it has concluded with Raytheon for a Wide-Area Augmentation System (WAAS) payload that will enhance the availability and accuracy of Global Positioning System (GPS) signals for the FAA.
They are the only navigable units designed with the FAA Wide-Area Augmentation System (WAAS) in mind, consistent with the National Airspace GPS integration plan," said Bruce Alspach, Vice President of Trimble's Avionics Group.
This data is part of the Federal Aviation Administration's Wide-Area Augmentation System, which is a Global Positioning System (GPS)-based navigation system that provides precision guidance to commercial and general aviation aircraft at thousands of airports and airstrips where there is no precision landing infrastructure in place.