[SatNews] Exelis (NYSE: XLS) has completed a nationwide infrastructure upgrade that will enable air traffic controllers to track aircraft with greater accuracy and reliability while giving pilots more information in the cockpit.
Exelis was selected in 2007 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to design, deploy, operate and maintain a radio network. The network supports a satellite-based surveillance system to track aircraft with the help of GPS. Called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), it provides more accurate aircraft location information than the current radar system. The ADS-B program is the cornerstone of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) initiative to modernize air traffic control in the U.S.
Under the program, Exelis has deployed 634 complex ground stations across the continental United States and in locations in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and approximately 100 service delivery points in FAA facilities. The deployed system is being operated and maintained by Exelis under FAA supervision and is providing high-performance surveillance and aviation safety services that meet the technical performance measures established by the FAA. ADS-B technology enables more accurate tracking of airplanes and airport vehicles on runways and taxiways, increasing safety and efficiency. The system significantly improves surveillance capability in areas with geographic challenges like mountains or over water. In addition to improved safety and efficiency, ADS-B technology results in less impact to the environment and less cost to maintain.
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