While the GPS wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) is likely to be commissioned for public use in July, the local-area augmentation system (LAAS) has fallen back by 12 months, with commissioning of the first installation now forecast in late 2005. This setback for LAAS was revealed to attendees at a December briefing given by FAA’s Satellite Operational Implementation Team (SOIT).
Global Positioning System
Rockwell Collins has gained the first-ever TSO approval for a multi-mode receiver with microwave landing system (MLS) capability. Besides MLS, the receiver integrates VOR, ILS, marker beacon and GPS. Cat III MLS approaches are in use at a handful of European airports, most notably London Heathrow. The precision navigation concept has also been adopted by the military for set-up of “portable” precision approaches anywhere in the world.
Garmin announced the availability of fault-detection and exclusion (FDE) software for its GNS 430/530 GPS/navcom radios. According to a spokesman, FDE uses a mathematical algorithm to monitor the accuracy and reliability of GPS signals. Designed to detect erroneous GPS data, the software automatically excludes that data from the active navigation solution.
It took several years for the U.S. and the European Union to reach agreement about satellite navigation systems, but the cooperation agreement the parties signed in June that paves the way for the Galileo and GPS satellite navigation systems should be beneficial to both sides, and to aviation worldwide.
The Garmin GNS 480 all-in-one GPS/navcom is now approved for primary-means WAAS navigation and localizer precision with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches. According to Garmin, pilots flying with the $11,995 unit will be able to make “ILS-like” approaches into thousands of U.S. airports not served by ILS once the FAA implements LPV procedures.
L-3 Communications Avionics Systems last month announced TSO approval for the Model 8100 terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS), clearing the way for deliveries of the $12,500 unit. The class-B system differentiates itself from other TAWS units on the market by including a remote WAAS GPS receiver, used for deriving position and altitude.
Much positive news about the future of civil air navigation broke late last year. Russia and Europe signed agreements to secure the future of their respective satnav systems, Russia’s GPS-like global navigation satellite system (Glonass) and Europe’s Galileo; the White House Office of Science and Technology published a U.S.
Garmin has added a long list of aviation-specific applications to its iQue 3600 Palm-powered personal digital assistant (PDA) to create a multitask handheld GPS navigator for pilots. The iQue 3600a comes pre-loaded with terrain warning software, Jeppesen navigation database and an electronic logbook, in addition to standard automotive turn-by-turn direction software and other applications.
Released last month, the 2005 Federal Radionavigation Plan (FRP)–a joint production of the DOT, DOD and the Department of Homeland Security–provides a useful guide to what air navigation will be like between now and 2020. Of course, federal crystal balls occasionally can be cloudy, especially when they peer 14 years into the future.
Former FAA Administrator Langhorne Bond voiced concerns about the “notorious” doctrine of sole-means GPS dependency before international attendees at the U.S. Air Traffic Control Association’s summer meeting in Dublin, Ireland, in late July.