Satellite Shutdown May Affect Field Ops

FAA Shutdown of Geostationary Satellite on Tuesday Could Affect Some GPS Farming Systems

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Signal corrections may become unavailable for some GPS farming systems on Tuesday as the FFA shuts down an older geostationary satellite. Affected users will need to change their settings to a new satellite. (Photo by GettyImages)

The Federal Aviation Administration and ag services and equipment providers are reminding farmers that next Tuesday, May 17, 2022, the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) will put a new geostationary satellite into service. This new satellite, PRN 135, will replace the current WAAS PRN 138 satellite, which will be decommissioned and cease transmissions.

The PRN 135 satellite began WAAS transmissions on April 26, 2022. The new satellite is the Galaxy 30 located at 125 degrees west longitude. PRN 138 will cease WAAS transmissions on May 17.

After this date, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers that have been manually set to receive corrections from PRN 138 will not be able to obtain a differential correction. A different PRN will need to be selected. GNSS applications use GNSS receivers to collect position, velocity and time information.

WAAS includes ground reference stations positioned across the U.S. that monitor GPS satellite data. Two master stations, located on either coast, collect data from the reference stations and create a GPS correction message. It is available only in North America and is ideal for open land and marine applications.

Matt Yanick, president and owner of MyPrecisionAg Limited (, told Swift Current Online ( in Saskatchewan, Canada, that a lost signal will affect autosteer, section control and variable-rate mapping.

However, Yanick noted this switchover only affects WAAS users. If you're running John Deere SF-1, SF-2 or SF-3, Trimble RTX, RTK, Outback Atlas or Raven GS, you won't be affected, he said.

If your GNSS receiver is affected, you must either manually change WAAS PRN settings to one of the operational satellites 131, 133, 135 or choose "Automatic" to receive GPS corrections.

Producers who may be unsure what system they are using should contact their equipment dealer or precision ag representative to reprogram their equipment to a new satellite.

DTN/Progressive Farmer also spoke with Sunrise Precision Specialists in Fremont, Ohio, on Friday. The company offers 10 tutorials on various systems to help with this transition. Each tutorial lasts only a few seconds. Find the tutorials here:….

Dan Miller can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @DMillerPF

Dan Miller