Raytheon has handed over the Wide Area Augmentation System Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting 6 (WAAS GEO 6) satellite navigation payload.

The new navigation payload has been delivered to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and is already operational.

It replaces an older WAAS geostationary satellite and will be used to increase the accuracy and reliability of GPS satellite signals, as well as offer coverage expansion.

The Raytheon-developed WAAS is a navigation system operated by the FAA for civil aviation purposes.

WAAS is designed to provide horizontal and vertical navigation services for approach operations for all aircraft classes in all phases of flight.

The navigation system meets all relevant air navigation performance and safety requirements. It includes space and ground equipment that helps detect any errors in the received GPS signals.

The WAAS Master Stations generate a WAAS User Message that contains information to remove errors in the GPS satellite signals.

The WAAS GEO 6 payload will join FAA’s two other existing WAAS satellite payloads operating in orbit.

Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services vice-president Matt Gilligan said: “Never has a consistent and precise GPS signal been more critical to ensuring safety of flight.

“As the airspace increases in complexity, there is absolutely no room for error.”

Raytheon’s new WAAS GEO 6 payload is hosted by SES-15 satellite, which was launched in 2017.

The WAAS network consists of three geostationary satellites and 49 terrestrial-based stations.