WAAS IntelSat Galaxy 15 Satellite
Orbital Sciences photo
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on Thursday, April 15, 2010 they have lost control of the Satellite that carries the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) package. It loss will occur some time within the next two weeks to a month. The impact of this loss will be a degradation in the accuracy of the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) signals in the north western portion of the United States WAAS coverage, especially in Alaska.
The WAAS system normally requires three geostationary satellites to provide coverage throughout Canada, Alaska, USA and Mexico.
The resolution to this situation is a replacement of the satellite will be required. The time frame to make this happen could be as long as 16 months. During the time in which there is just one satellite, GPS users in North America may experience loss of WAAS accuracies for periods of up to five minutes each occurring as many as five times in the year.