[SatNews] Satmex, owned by Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL), Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Raytheon [NYSE: RTN], has announced that the all-electric propulsion Satmex-9 satellite being built by Boeing will carry a hosted payload enabling the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to enhance aviation safety—the FAA payload is the first in a series of Wide-Area Augmentation System (WAAS) commercial space missions.
Scheduled for launch by Space-X in the second half of 2015, the Satmex-9 satellite is based on the 702SP (small platform) developed by Boeing. The satellite will be co-positioned at 117 degrees West with the Satmex-8 satellite to offer expanded capacity across more than 45 nations and territories in the Americas, notably for Satmex’s growing video business. Satmex’s commissioning of a payload from Boeing follows the agreement it has concluded with Raytheon for a WAAS payload that will enhance the availability and accuracy of Global Positioning System (GPS) signals for the FAA. The WAAS payload will provide coverage to reference stations in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, as well as the continental United States and Alaska, improving GPS signal accuracy to seven meters from 100 meters. Commercial airline and general aviation pilots can use this extremely accurate information for more direct flight paths and precision approaches to airports and remote landing sites. WAAS is the sixth order for Boeing’s next-generation hosted payload since 2009, and the first to be included on an all-electric satellite.
“The Satmex-9 satellite will be a key plank of our strategy to increase resources for video and data applications in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean”, said Patricio Northland, CEO of Satmex. “We are delighted to expand the scope of an innovative and creative platform with the addition of a payload for Raytheon that will contribute to increasing the integration of satellite solutions into aviation safety.”
”With a 17-year legacy as the developer of the WAAS capability, Raytheon is proud to be the FAA’s prime contractor for the GEO Service Lease and very pleased to have Satmex and Boeing on our GEO 5 team,” said Raytheon Director Brian Hickey.
“Boeing continues to be in the forefront of providing operational hosted payloads to our many customers,” said Craig Cooning, CEO of Boeing Satellite Systems International. “Like all 702 satellites, the 702SP capitalizes on extra satellite capacity to provide vital services to both government and commercial operators.”
Satélites Mexicanos (Satmex), owned by Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) is a significant provider of fixed satellite services (FSS) in the Americas, with coverage of more than 90% of the population of the region. Satmex has designed, procured, launched and operated three generations of satellites over a 25 year period. Its current fleet is comprised of three satellites in highly attractive, contiguous orbital slots that enable its customers to effectively serve their entire coverage footprint utilizing a single satellite connection. Two further satellites are scheduled to be launched in 2015.
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