Last year in Toulouse, France, Eurocopter completed two series of tests that demonstrated the feasibility of satellite-navigation precision approaches for helicopters. Europe, which lags behind the U.S. in creating satnav nonprecision approaches for helicopters, has almost completed some research toward addressing that imbalance.
Global navigation satellite system
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.
Galileo, Europe’s $4.2 billion rival to GPS, is in jeopardy of cancellation following clashes between EU nations over project budgeting, officials said. Several EU nations have voiced concern about Galileo’s high cost, complaining they have been left out of commercial bidding negotiations. The first Galileo satellites need to be launched by 2005 or Europe may have to forfeit frequencies allotted by the International Telecommunications Union.
As part of its evaluation of loran as a potential backup to GPS, the FAA has contracted Rock-well Collins to build a combined GPS/loran variant of its standard multimode navigation and landing receiver. The unit’s primary function will be to provide GPS navigation, with automatic switchover to loran should GPS signals be lost or degraded, and automatic reversion to GPS when normal service resumes.
LAAS could end up being overtaken by a combination of the FAA’s WAAS and Europe’s GPS equivalent, Galileo. While official speakers at last month’s U.S.
A study commissioned by the NGATS Institute on behalf of the FAA’s JPDO and prepared by the advanced engineering and sciences division of ITT determined that eLoran (for enhanced) has “the highest overall preference rating…particularly in the U.S.” as a backup for satnav receivers in the event of failure or interference.
A satellite navigation backup study commissioned by the JPDO has given eLoran “the highest overall preference rating...particularly in the U.S.” Not yet publicly released, the 180-page document was prepared by ITT’s advanced engineering and sciences division and assessed seven candidates against a series of essential requirements. The candidates include DME/DME/INS; GNSS/INS; eLoran; VOR; “hardened” GNSS; terrain mapping; and multilateration.
As an example of how ADS-B installation will work abroad, the Australian government and Airservices Australia, the country’s privatized ATC provider, proposed recently to cover the purchase and installation costs of ADS-B and GNSS avionics in approximately 11,000 Australian-registered aircraft with an mtow of less than 5,700 kg (12,500 pounds) under the nation’s ADS-B transition program.
In a statement that surprised Western observers, China announced late last year that it will launch its own 35-satellite, GPS-like global navigation system over the next several years. Thirty of these satellites will fly in medium-earth orbits at around 12,000 miles altitude, similar to that of GPS, while the remaining five will be equally spaced around the equator in WAAS-like geostationary orbits and perform a similar service.
The French civil aviation authority, DGAC, has published the first GNSS nonprecision approach procedure for a French airport and is working toward introducing approaches with vertical guidance (APVs) once the necessary augmentation of the GPS signals is available and the relevant ICAO design criteria become effective.