Browse Definitions :
Definition

Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is a navigation assistance system used to improve the accuracy and precision of global positioning systems (GPS).

WAAS is mainly used in aviation to improve the location-tracking abilities of aircraft. Those abilities are especially important in landing approaches. WAAS helps aircraft land safely, particularly in low-visibility situations.

The signals from GPS are subject to a number of sources of interference that reduce accuracy. Interference from the ionosphere, the atmosphere and satellite orbit errors are common sources of GPS drift. Combining with a ground-level technology to augment GPS satellites’ accuracy can mitigate these factors.

The equipment involved in WAAS is a mixture of satellites and ground stations. A number of stations gather the data across the United States. Two coastal main stations output the corrected signal for relay through satellites. These satellites then provide a corrected GPS signal that makes GPS positioning more accurate. No additional receiving equipment is necessary.

The first GPSs were accurate to 100 meters. GPS without selective availability (SA) restrictions improved accuracy to 15 meters and differential GPS improved accuracy to within 3-5 meters. WAAS is designed to improve accuracy below three meters more than 95 percent of the time. WAAS works best without obstructions and is suited to open areas like plains and the ocean as mountains and other large obstructions can reduce accuracy.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) still have WAAS under development. Currently, the system is only available in North America. Other nations’ equivalent technologies include the Japanese Multi-Functional Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS) and European Euro Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

This was last updated in November 2017

Continue Reading About Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)

SearchCompliance

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • RAM (Random Access Memory)

    RAM (Random Access Memory) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • business impact analysis (BIA)

    Business impact analysis (BIA) is a systematic process to determine and evaluate the potential effects of an interruption to ...

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive that is used in internally mounted storage expansion cards of a small form factor.

Close