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Space-based automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) for global air traffic surveillance.

Founded in 2011, Aireon uses Iridium's satellite constellation to track and monitor aircraft that use Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). Its technology meets real-time Air Traffic Service surveillance requirements for separation devices, offers global coverage, and receives data from aircraft every half-second. It then relays this information to aircraft traffic controllers in real-time.

Aireon's satellite-based approach to receiving ADS-B signals decreases costs of implementation, provides surveillance to ATCs in remote regions, and helps customers discover new, more efficient routes instead of relying on procedural routes to fly through unsurveilled regions. It also allows customers to do post-flight analysis, and it is the only provider of space-based surveillance for Air Traffic Management.

Left to right: continental U.S. with secondary surveillance at 5,000 AGL; continental U.S. with ADS-B coverage at 5,000 AGL.

Aireon has a multitude of domestic and global partnerships, and it classifies the majority of its partnerships under three umbrellas:

  1. Air navigation service providers (ANSP). Entities that manage air traffic for a company, region, or country. ANSP's must offer one or more services: air traffic management; communication, navigation, surveillance; meteorological service for air navigation; search and rescue; aeronautical information services.
  2. Distribution. This partnership delivers Aireon's raw data to customers. It's expected that distribution partners have in-house tools capable of processing this data. 
  3. Channel partnerships. Digestible delivery of Aireon's data by partners in the form of dashboards, data streams, event tracking, analytics, and live monitoring, amid other solutions.


A necessary component of Aireon's ADS-B satellite technology relies on Iridium's Low Earth Orbit satellites. Each of Iridium's 66 low-latency LEO satellites includes ADS-B receivers that do not require commercial aircraft to adopt new equipment. Iridium is the only satellite network that sends air traffic controllers real-time information, and its satellites can reach 100 percent coverage of global air surveillance without ground stations.


Space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) require aircraft equipped with 1090 MHz ADS-B transponders, which operate on the same frequency as traditional Mode A/C/S transponders, including DO-260, DO-260A and DO-260B (Link Versions 0, 1 and 2, respectively), as well as DO-260B/ED-102A, the current standard.


To ensure reliable satellite reception, an A1 class transmitter and top mount aircraft antenna (commonly found on most commercial aircraft and private jets) is required due to the Aireon’s receivers' space-based nature. Aircraft with a Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) to help prevent mid-air collisions is typically equipped with top and bottom mount antennas.


Aireon’s surveillance infrastructure provides ANSPs with information derived from an aircraft’s onboard equipment, sensors, and ADS-B transponder, including horizontal position, altitude, velocity, aircraft identification, and call sign. This data is often combined by the ANSP with ground-based surveillance and flight plan information for integration with ATC systems to provide a single representation of a given aircraft.

Air traffic surveillance

Defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization, air traffic surveillance is the ability to "provide aircraft position and other related information to ATM and/or airborne users.”

Aireon meets ATS requirements as set by European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE).

EUROCAE ATS Requirements

EUROCAE Requirements

Aircraft Transmitter Classes Supported

A1 or Higher (125 Watt minimum) 

A1 or Higher (125 Watt minimum, with a top-mount antenna (TCAS)


≥ 99.9%

≥ 99.9%

Data Format to ANSP

ASTERIX CAT021, CAT023, CAT025 and FAA CAT033 and CAT023

ASTERIX CAT021, CAT023, CAT025 and FAA CAT033 and CAT023


≤ 1.5s to the ATM Automation Platform

≤ 1.5s to the ATM Automation Platform

Surveillance Data-link Requirements

Variable Per Region(DO-260 Version 0, 1, 2)

Accepts all 1090ES ADS-B (DO-260 Versions 0, 1, 2)

System Coverage

En Route Service Volume (200 NM)

Continuous Global Coverage

Update Interval

≤ 8s at 95%

Simulation and testing shows that targets will be delivered at an UI of ≤ 8s* at 95%

Software products

Aireon provides customers with various products focused on analyzing global data from its space-based ADS-B satellites and offering emergency services.


A set of APIs that gives customers access to Aireon's high-fidelity, low-latency surveillance data. Aireon's telemetry data can also be integrated into other data analytics platforms. Data offered through AireonSTREAM exceeds ICAO's Global Aeronautical and Safety Systems requirements.

Use cases

  • Aircraft tracking
  • Airport operational analytics
  • Situational awareness
  • Unmanned aircraft system and management
  • Safety, environmental and operational analyses

ANSPs that use AerionFLOW get low-latency position data that extends further than its Flight Information Region and Area of Responsibility that does not require data-sharing agreements with other countries. The low-latency position data increases an ANSP's prediction capabilities of flow management and air traffic capacity. Positon data is updated every minute, and real-time data delivery supports multiple messaging exchange patterns such as publish-subscribe (pub/sub) and streaming over protocols like AMQP 1.0 and others. The data is transmitted using an encrypted tunnel over the public internet (IPSec VPN).


  • ATFM Systems
  • SWIM Nodes
  • A-CDM systems

Using data gathered from Aireon's ADS-B satellites, AireonINSIGHTS streams event data, and alerts in real-time. That data includes:

  • Aircraft arrival/departure
  • “Wheels Up”/ “Wheels Down”
  • Aircraft deviation
  • Flight cycles
  • Arrival/departure runway
  • Current aircraft location
  • Flight hours
  • Geofence restrictions

Data can deliver events for a region or a collection of aircraft, and the events are received within a 50 nautical mile radius of an airport's latitude and longitude. It uses Advanced Message Queueing Protocol (AMQP) hosted on Microsoft Azure to ensure reliability.

Primary customers

  • Aircraft fleet operators
  • Logistics companies
  • Financial institutions
  • Leasing companies
  • Insurance providers
Aireon ALERT

Ran by the Irish Aviation Authority, Aireon ALERT uses Aireon's space-based ADS-B data to determine an aircraft's location in an uncertainty phase, alert phase, or distress phase. It offers a four-dimensional report—aircraft altitude, latitude, longitude, and time information—to those who call its 24/7 phone number. The aircraft must be equipped with ADS-B OUT 1090 MHz.

The service is free for ANSPs, commercial aircraft operators and airlines, regulators, and search and rescue organizations; however, Aireon ALERT does require registration by the above entities.


November 12, 2020
Aireon announces Strategic Partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration for space-based ADS-B data exploration.

Aireon LLC (Aireon) announces a new partnership today with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to explore innovative uses of space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) across the entire air traffic management spectrum using a global dataset.

July 4, 2020
PASSUR and Aireon announce agreement to power aviation data analytics, collaboration, and digital decision support solutions.
September 23, 2019
Aireon, NATS and NAV CANADA win ATCA annual industry award.
July 25, 2019
Aireon Announces deal with Airports Authority of India
April 2, 2019
Aireon begins operations over the North Atlantic.
May 22, 2018
Aireon announced the sixth successful launch and deployment of its space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) payloads, hosted by the Iridium.
May 22, 2018
NATS takes equity stake in Aireon.
March 29, 2018
Aireon announced today the fifth successful launch and deployment of its space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) payloads, hosted by the Iridium.
December 22, 2017
Aireon announced the successful fourth launch and deployment of its space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) payloads hosted onboard the Iridium.
January 14, 2017
Aireon announced successful first launch for space-based ADS-B network.

Aireon announced today the successful launch and deployment of the first ten satellites hosting its space-based automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) system. Earlier in the year, Aireon also announced a partnership with FlightAware, and together launched the GlobalBeaconSM flight tracking service.

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Further reading


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Aireon LLC
February 23, 2021
/PRNewswire/ -- Aireon LLC (Aireon) and Avinor Air Navigation Services (Avinor) announce that an agreement has been reached to deploy space-based Automatic...
Aireon LLC
February 17, 2021
/PRNewswire/ -- Isavia ANS, Iceland's Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), announced today that it has successfully implemented Aireon's space-based...
Aireon LLC
January 29, 2021
/PRNewswire/ -- Airports Authority of India (AAI) has announced today that Aireon's space-based ADS-B air traffic surveillance system is successfully being...
October 1, 2019
Based on its recent analysis of the global air traffic management market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Aireon with the 2019 Global Technology Innovation Award for introducing the first-ever, global air traffic surveillance system that uses space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receivers on satellites. Aireon's global ADS-B technology increases the overall safety, efficiency, and capacity of the aviation industry, as well as lowers operating costs by providing imp...


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