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WAAS, or Wide Area Augmentation System is a GPS augment being developed by the American Federal Aviation Authority to network together air-based, ground-based and satellite based GPS stations to triangulate precise positions from all of them, enabling a reliable GPS fix in three dimensions rather than just two.

WAAS corrects for GPS signal errors caused by ionospheric disturbances, timing, and satellite orbit errors, giving accuracy in X, Y, and Z axis accurate to within 3 metres, in real-time. This makes it ideal for fast-moving objects such as planes, to track their precise location constantly.

As a nice side-effect, WAAS is able to report on satellite conditions. If one drifts out of orbit, the system picks this up immediately as its GPS telemetry for other objects disagrees with the rest of the network stations.

WAAS is compatible with basic GPS signal structure.

Whilst WAAS is only applicable for the North American continent, other geographic areas are developing their own systems, which are inter-compatible. . In Asia, it's the Japanese Multi-Functional Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS), while Europe has the Euro Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

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Related Dictionary Entries for WAAS:

Acquisition Time



Satellite-Based Augmentation System



Wide Area Augmentation System

Wide area ground Reference Station

Wide area Master Station




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