The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced the completion of the ground-radio infrastructure for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B), the surveillance piece of its NextGen ATC modernization effort. Of 230 ATC facilities nationwide, 100 already track aircraft by ADS-B, the agency said in an April 14 announcement.
Global Positioning System
The FAA on March 28 published a revised version of AC No: 20-138D that clarifies and adds new guidance material to the airworthiness approval process for a variety of GPS systems, including augmented GPS, and Rnav equipment for RNP operations and baro-Vnav equipment.
Avionics manufacturer Avidyne of Lincoln, Mass. is showcasing its soon-to-be-certified touch screen IFD 540 and IFD 440 FMS/GPS navcoms this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. Featuring plug and play design, the units are aimed at the retrofit market, specifically as replacements for Garmin GNS 530 and GNS 430 GPS navcoms, providing an upgrade alternative to Garmin’s own GTN 750/650.
The company the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration chose in August 2007 to install the ground infrastructure needed to track aircraft by automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) plans to complete that network in the continental U.S. this month. McLean, Va.-based Exelis, which was called ITT when the FAA awarded it the ADS-B contract, said 658 of the 660 planned ADS-B ground radio stations will enter service this year, including all 601 the company is installing in the lower 48 states.
Garmin has joined the competition for AHRS-equipped portable ADS-B receivers with the new GDL 39 3D, priced at $849 or (with an optional battery) $899. Unlike other portable ADS-B receivers with built-in attitude and heading reference systems (AHRS), the GDL 39 3D works only with Garmin’s Pilot iPad and Android apps and most Garmin portable GPS receivers. When the GDL 39 3D is paired with the latest version of Garmin Pilot, users can view not only datalinked traffic and weather but also an AHRS-driven attitude indicator. The GDL 39 3D also contains a Waas-capable GPS receiver.
Honeywell has received FAA supplemental type certificate approval for installation of its Sky Connect Tracker III in S-76, AW139 and AS350 helicopters. Sky Connect Tracker III uses the Iridium satellite network to provide all-in-one voice, text and tracking services. Honeywell said its dual-redundant servers currently handle more than 5 million tracking, text and telemetry messages each month.
It’s been three months since Sikorsky announced that its S-92 rig approach system has gone into operation in the Gulf of Mexico with oil and gas transport provider PHI, and here at the show, the airframer is providing demonstrations of the safety enhancement.
Garmin commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Garmin GPS 155 receiving FAA TSO authorization late last week. The GPS 155 was the industry’s first FAA TSO-C129 approach-approved IFR GPS receiver. The device received FAA TSO approval on Feb. 16, 1994, and “laid the groundwork for future aviation milestones and set the standard for product development, eventually ushering in the foundational technology for what is now referred to as NextGen,” said Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing Carl Wolf.
India’s GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (Gagan) system, jointly developed by Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Indian Space Research Organization and Raytheon, has been awarded certification for in Required Navigation Performance (RNP) 0.1 operations. Achieved with the help of quasi-U.S. government non-profit MITRE Corporation, the certification makes it the world’s fourth SBAS system certified for operational use.
Esterline CMC (Booth T87) is celebrating a couple of milestone contract awards here at the Singapore Airshow this week, as well as showcasing its main avionics products–including its popular Cockpit 9000 CNS/ATM update solution for legacy Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. This is aimed at extending the service life of 20-40 year-old aircraft by up to 30 years, future-proofing them against advances in ATC technology.