Concerned about attempts by adversaries to jam global positioning satellite system signals–as occurred with only limited success during the recent Iraq conflict–the U.S. Air Force is moving ahead with plans to field a new-generation constellation of satellites, called GPS III. After a months-long logjam, the Air Force next month will begin accepting requests for proposals to develop and deploy the satellites sometime between 2010 and 2013.
In 1997 the President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, which was charged with examining threats to our national security, recommended an assessment be made of the vulnerability of the U.S. transportation infrastructure if it had to rely on GPS.
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.
The woes experienced by builders of the wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) are nothing new to those who have followed the development of the satellite-navigation project over the last decade. In fact, it has become almost cliché to use woe and WAAS in the same sentence. So it’s not surprising to learn that a program one senator once referred to as a “$4 billion boondoggle” has lost luster over time.
Rockwell Collins has received the industry’s first TSO approval for a multi-mode receiver (MMR) with local-area augmentation system (LAAS) functionality, the avionics maker announced last month. The Collins GLU-925 MMR is the first to include LAAS and GPS landing system (GLS) capability in addition to ILS mode.
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.
The FAA’s decision to relegate the GPS Cat 1 local-area augmentation system (LAAS) to a mere R&D program (AIN, March 2004, page 1) came as little surprise to either administration officials or industry.
Arinc has flight tested a new differential-GPS precision approach and landing system designed to withstand electronic jamming. Conducted on April 5 at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico in an Air Force C-12J (the military version of the Beech 1900C), the tests evaluated the performance of Arinc’s developmental local-area differential GPS (LDGPS) landing aid.
In an effort to streamline its GPS/navcom product line, Garmin will rename the CNX80 navigator the GNS 480, according to a spokesman. The new designation positions the panel-mount unit between Garmin’s GNS 430 and GNS 530 products, more than 41,000 of which are flying in various GA aircraft around the world.
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.