The FAA flipped the switch on its wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) at 12:01 a.m. on July 10, potentially opening up thousands of runways at 5,400 public-use airports for near-precision approaches in both lateral and vertical guidance modes.
Global Positioning System
Garmin late last month announced a deal to buy UPS Aviation Technologies, a subsidiary of United Parcel Service, for $38 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to close this quarter, after which UPS Aviation Technologies will change its name to Garmin AT.
European nations apparently have resolved their objections over budgeting of Galileo, Europe’s $4.2 billion rival to GPS. Several EU nations had voiced concern about Galileo’s high cost, with some countries, most recently Spain, complaining they had been left out of commercial bidding negotiations. Under the final plan, Spain’s share increases from 9.5 percent to 10.25 percent. The cost of Galileo is being shared by 15 European countries.
The DOT Volpe Center’s September 10 report on the vulnerability of GPS to jamming and other interference, in addition to the events of the following day, have greatly heightened national concerns about the security of the satellite system and the degree of dependence that should be placed on it as the backbone of our future ATC system.
Honeywell has completed a series of GPS-guided autoland approaches to each of the four runways at Moses Lake Airfield in central Washington using a single Honeywell/Pelorus local-area augmentation system (LAAS) ground station. The successful trials, conducted over a 45-day period that ended in January, come just as
the FAA is preparing to award a major contract for the supply of 60 Cat I LAAS ground stations through 2007.
Eclipse Aviation yesterday received flight into known icing (FIKI) approval for the Eclipse 500, though in-service and undelivered aircraft up to S/N 265 will require modifications to fly in such conditions.
Honeywell’s aerospace electronic systems group is beginning the year by unveiling new technology that holds the promise of doing to conventional navcom radios what the personal computer did to electric typewriters.
Rockwell Collins announced the successful completion of microwave landing system (MLS) Category IIIb approach tests in the U.S. and Europe, with the aim of obtaining TSO approval for its multi-mode receiver (MMR) in the first quarter of this year.
Garmin has made a name for itself in aviation in the last decade by developing a popular lineup of navigation and communication equipment for GA aircraft. Now the company is getting serious about developing an integrated cockpit system for a wide range of aircraft reaching into the business aviation ranks. Late last year Garmin completed its acquisition of Los Gatos, Calif.-based Sequoia Instruments for $5 million in cash.
To counter the possibility of jammed and “spoofed” signals, the authors of a U.S. Department of Transportation report on GPS vulnerability released on September 10 recommend that GPS not be relied upon as the sole source in critical applications, including precision approaches.