Sophisticated satellite system could make air travel safer

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Spotted: US-based Iridium has completed a $3 billion dollar satellite system that could make flying safer. The system includes 66 operational satellites (plus nine spares) and is mainly intended for global telecommunications. Each satellite includes a special receiver, made by Aireon, a US manufacturer of global aircraft tracking and surveillance systems. The receiver uses technology, which eventually could make it possible to track every plane in the sky, no matter where on earth, the company says. Today air planes are tracked using radar and something called automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) receivers. But air traffic control can only receive signals via towers…

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