At least 2 compete on satellite plane tracking

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 2, 2014 at 4:36 pm •  Published: April 2, 2014
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"We're delivering a message every second. ... It takes only a couple-hundred milliseconds to deliver that information from the plane to the ground," Monroe said. "The result is that you always know within just a few feet where that plane is."

The companies hope to have FAA approval in a year to 18 months, he said.

"We've been working on it in the last couple of years," he said. "We've been running tests and those tests have been 100 percent successful."

As a regulatory agency the FAA cannot comment about whether it is considering technology under development, a spokesman said.

Aireon LLC of McLean, Va., will have ADS-B receivers on 66 satellites scheduled to begin launching in the second quarter of 2015 and to be fully deployed in the second half of 2017, said Iridium Communications Inc. CEO Matthew J. Desch. Aireon was created as a subsidiary of Iridium, but air traffic control agencies in Canada, Denmark, Ireland and Italy are investing heavily in it and eventually will own nearly three-quarters of the stock, Desch said. Portugal and the United Kingdom have signed on as future customers, he said.

Although Aireon will get second-by-second data, it will guarantee updates at least every 10 to 15 seconds to start with, Desch said.

"In the worst-case scenario, you'll know the exact position of an airplane within 15 seconds," he said. He said that should let controllers space planes 30 miles apart in areas without radar rather than the current 60-mile limit.