Spire’s New Space-Based Aircraft Tracking Service to Drastically Reduce Response Time & Prevent Airline Disasters

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Spire adding new service that meets tracking standards set in wake of MH 370

Airplane lands safely

An airplane lands safely. New mandates have been created to ensure that this risks to passengers are lowered.

The service, which will capture and provide the location of all Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipped planes, will be ready for customers ahead of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) mandate...

Spire has announced the upcoming availability of a space-based global aircraft tracking service (Spire AirSafe). The service, which will capture and provide the location of all Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipped planes, will be ready for customers ahead of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) mandate for most international flights to provide updated flight information every 15 minutes. The mandate was set in response to several airline disasters including Malaysia Airlines flight 370 and Air France flight 477 where improved tracking would have led to a recovery effort measured in days rather than months or the prevention of the incident all together.

Spire will launch approximately 25 ADS-B equipped satellites in 2017 and another 50 in 2018 for a total of 75 satellites. Like all Spire satellites, they will be launched into a diverse set of orbits to provide excellent coverage over oceanic areas, polar regions, and other remote places where ground-based tracking is ineffective or impossible. Satellite-based tracking is the only ICAO 4D/15 (4 dimensions every 15 minutes) compliant method of aircraft tracking over oceanic area.

“Spire AirSafe will offer a compelling alternative to big-ticket air traffic surveillance systems,” said Peter Platzer, Spire’s CEO. “Most customers don’t need up-to-the-second aircraft information – for many of them, the standard set forth by the ICAO of 15 minutes will do just fine. Spire will be able to provide plane tracking for them at an excellent price.” Spire’s satellites, which are built on the CubeSat standard, are about the size of a loaf of bread. Their size and use of proprietary technology which draws on advancements in UAVs, robotics, and high-end consumer electronics offers significant cost advantages.

Projects like the FAA’s NextGen, which will bring a US domestic ADS-B mandate in 2020, are rolling out globally. Europe, Australia, China, Indonesia, and several other countries have mandated implementation dates for ADS-B and countries like Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Singapore have already mandated that planes carry and use the technology. Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was carrying an ADS-B transponder but data received from the plane was sparse as it traveled over open ocean. The goal of tracking initiatives and services like Spire AirSafe is to make incidents like MH370 a thing of the past.

About Spire
Spire Global, Inc. is a leading player in the nanosatellite sector, building the world’s most advanced, constantly refreshed constellation. In an industry that is used to measuring development periods in years, Spire has accelerated timelines to a period of just weeks. Spire’s solutions offer organizations insights into aircraft tracking, weather & climate, shipping & supply chain and maritime domain awareness. This network of nanosatellites senses the ¾ of the planet inaccessible to most current systems which rely largely on land-based remote sensing. To learn more, visit: http://www.spire.com.

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Nicholas Allain
@SpireGlobal
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