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Viasat Tests Highly Accurate GPS Data for Improved Navigation Safety, Efficiency

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A Viasat test of the U.K. Satellite-Based Augmentation System showed for the first time how it can generate GPS data for maximum navigation safety and improved efficiency. The test was conducted aboard the National Flying Laboratory Centre’s Saab 340B aircraft flown from the Cranfield Airport in Bedfordshire, England, Viasat said Thursday.

The company’s I-3 F5 satellite facilitates UK SBAS broadcast signals in coordination with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the European Space Agency and the European Union Space Programme Agency.

The UK SBAS uses an overlay test signal to the U.S. GPS to deliver maritime and aviation data to users navigating U.K. waters and airspace. 

The U.K. Department for Transport funds the UK SBAS project through the European Space Agency’s Navigation Innovation Support Programme. Viasat leads the test’s completion with a team of U.K. companies and organizations, including Goonhilly Earth Station, Ordnance Survey, Cranfield University and Pildo Labs.

The UK SBAS test is an initial step to develop a facility similar to the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service, which no longer covers the United Kingdom since its departure from the European Union in 2020.

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