A study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) predicts that GPS service levels could fall well below civil requirements in the next decade. GPS typically has 24 satellites in orbit, although it currently has 31.
Global Positioning System
Bombardier Aerospace (Booth No. 7011) is now offering a WAAS (wide area augmentation system) capable flight management system on its Learjet 60s; it also is STC’d for in-service models. The aircraft uses the WAAS signal in addition to GPS to fly area navigation and localize performance with vertical guidance instrument approaches. The system has been previously available for the Canadian airframer’s Learjet 40, 40 XR, 45 and 45 XR models.
The removal in February of Loran-C and eLoran funding from President Obama’s proposed budget has drawn strong protest from the UK over the sudden U.S. policy reversal. Last year, the U.S.
Airbus plans to install satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) in its A350XWB to support GPS Cat 1-equivalent 200-foot LPV approaches. SBAS includes the FAA’s WAAS; Europe’s Egnos (2010); India’s Gagan (2011); and Japan’s MSAS (2010/11). The FAA has already published 1,445 WAAS LPV approaches (exceeding the number of ILS approaches) and plans to have 6,000 available by 2018.
While GPS is currently leading the pack in terms of satnav system implementation, at a recent UN International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems conference it was clear that competing systems are getting closer and could overtake it during the next decade. Presentations from Europe, Russia and China described active developments of worldwide satnav constellations, while India and Japan are moving ahead with regional networks.
HEMS operator CareFlite is working with the FAA’s Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) Program Office to help quantify WAAS benefits to HEMS operations.
CareFlite currently has 18 helipad GPS approaches and will begin integrating WAAS into these approach procedures, beginning with four regional trauma centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
L-3 Avionics is at Booth No. 2526 demonstrating the GH-3001 electronic standby primary flight display, which the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal has ordered for the CH-47F Improved Cargo Helicopter fleet program. The open-ended contract valued at approximately $9.2 million will run through early 2013.
Accord Technology (Booth No. 520) is promoting its NexNav line of GPS WAAS receiver technology, which supports LP/LPV approaches and new ADS-B standards. A joint venture of Accord Software & Systems of Bangalore, India, and NexGen Avionics, Accord is also announcing appointments of R. Shenoy Manur, CEO; Hal Adams, COO; and Randy Shimon, v-p, engineering and compliance.
Appareo Systems of Fargo, N.D., and Eurocopter plan to unveil today a flight-data monitoring system scheduled to be certified for the AS 350 B2/B3 by the end of this year or in the first quarter of next year. Called Alerts Vision 1000, it is the latest extension of Appareo’s Alerts (aircraft logging and event recording for training and safety) product line.
Except for some early models, Honeywell’s Bendix/King division hasn’t in recent years focused on the market for GPS handheld navigators. This year at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis., however, Bendix/King unveiled a handheld that offers a lower-cost alternative to Garmin’s dominant line of GPS handhelds.