Owners of Garmin GTX 330 and 330D transponders, which the FAA said are installed in about 1,300 airplanes, must upgrade the equiptment with new software (version 3.03 or later). The upgrade is to correct a problem with the transponder, which can in certain instances issue inaccurate replies to aircraft equipped with traffic-alerting devices. Garmin said it will reimburse GTX 330/330D owners the cost of one hour of labor to perform the update.
It is no secret that the FAA in the last several months has been forced to shelve a number of important ATC modernization projects. But now a blunt assessment by Department of Transportation inspector general Kenneth Mead accuses the agency of misjudging the technological maturity of the canceled programs and failing to gauge their true costs.
Universal Avionics plans to announce FAA certification of the first TSO’d WAAS-qualified FMS for installation on Part 23 and 25 aircraft at a press conference today at
2 p.m. The new Universal W series FMS allows operators to use GPS as a primary means of navigation and to fly WAAS/LPV IFR approaches. The W series FMS is certified to TSO C146b, Class Gamma-3, according to Universal Avionics.
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.
This summer a Eurocopter EC 155 all-weather demonstrator performed satellite-guided precision approach tests in Lausanne, Switzerland, as part of a research program aimed at developing approach and departure IFR procedures suited to helicopters using the European geostationary navigation overlay service (egnos) Skyguide, the Swiss air navigation service provider, coordinated the program. Swiss medical air rescue agency Rega was also involved.
The DOD’s Navstar GPS reached a new performance level this year, with 30 satellites in orbit versus its minimum required civil complement of 24. Four more satellites add signal coverage and reduce the number of occasional “holes,” or gaps where fix geometry can sometimes fall below navigation standards.
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.
On Sunday at EAA AirVenture Honeywell’s Bendix/King division unveiled two new products that are designed to win back market share from rival Garmin. The Bendix/King KSN 770 is a GPS WAAS navigator with integrated VHF navcom radios, joystick cursor controller and 5.7-inch-diagonal VGA display.
Occasionally, GPS satellites are spread across the sky in configurations that prevent a receiver from calculating a good position fix. When that happens, the unit’s receiver autonomous integrity monitor (RAIM) will generate an alert to the pilot to use an alternative navigation source.
A solar flare 10 times stronger than anything researchers had previously observed or predicted surprised scientists last December, not only because of its size and strength, but because of the effect it had on GPS receivers and other communications systems. Now scientists are looking at previous data and trying to understand how these flares affect satellite signals, in the hope that they can one day prevent further disruptions.