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Spire to enter aviation tracking market - Add ADS-B payloads to its cubesats

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Spire to enter aviation tracking market
Spire plans to add ADS-B payloads to its cubesats starting in 2017 to enter the aviation tracking market.

Spire Global, a company developing a constellation of cubesats to provide weather and maritime tracking data, said Dec. 5 it plans to enter the aircraft tracking market by adding additional sensors to its future satellites.

The move by the San Francisco-based company will put it in competition with Aireon, a subsidiary of Iridium, who is placing Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) payloads on the Iridium Next constellation that will soon begin deployment.

In a statement, Spire said that it expects to have 25 satellites carrying ADS-B payloads launched by the end of 2017, with 50 more to follow in 2018. That constellation is designed to meet a mandate by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) set to go into effect in November 2018 that commercial aircraft flying over oceans provide their locations every 15 minutes.

Spire currently operates 16 satellites, including four launched last month from an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft through an arrangement with NanoRacks. Those satellites carry sensors to collect weather data through Global Positioning System radio occultation measurements as well as maritime tracking data through an Automatic Identification System (AIS) payload. Spire spokesman Nick Allain said Dec. 5 that future spacecraft will carry the ADS-B sensors along with the AIS and GPS radio occultation payloads.


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« Last Edit: December 08, 2016, 01:05:02 AM by Brian »