Airport and aircraft sales information provider Globalair.com has added GPS locating to its FBO Fuel Prices Apple iOS app. The new GPS functionality allows pilots to use the app in the air to view fuel prices for nearby airports and easily compare prices in a particular area. The FBO Fuel Prices app costs $3.99 (one-time fee) and is continually updated with fuel prices from the more than 3,000 FBOs in the Globalair.com Airport Resource database. Most fuel prices are updated frequently and none is more than 30 days old.
NobileSoft, a software company created by a helicopter pilot, has joined forces with independent research company Sintef to bring to market a new GPS-based powerline warning system for low-flying aircraft. Collisions often occur when aircraft fly at low levels on power- or pipeline patrols.
A recent New York Times article described a Russian request to the State Department to approve U.S. locations for one or more terrestrial signal monitors for Russia’s Glonass satellite navigation system, similar to America’s GPS, suggesting the request could have worrisome consequences.
According to the article, “The CIA and other American spy agencies, as well as the Pentagon, suspect that the monitor stations would give the Russians a foothold on American territory that would sharpen the accuracy of Moscow’s satellite-steered weapons.”
GPS Source, a manufacturer of indoor GPS receivers, released its GLI-Metro-G system, which provides a variety of GPS signal types and control over effective radiated power (ERP) levels. GLI-Metro-G can receive GPS L1/L2 and Glonass L1/L2 signals, and users can select both GPS and Glonass or each type individually. An antenna must be mounted on the outside of the building to pass the signals through to the receiver. GLI-Metro-G will also accept Galileo signals when that system becomes operative, as well as those from other future GPS-type systems.
According to NBAA, the FAA will publish a notice to airmen on December 12 detailing plans for the rollout of Phase 2 of the North Atlantic datalink mandate. Implementation will begin with Phase 2a on Feb. 5, 2015, at which time flights within the North Atlantic Tracks (NAT) between FL350 and FL390 must be equipped with Fans 1/A controller-pilot datalink communications and ADS-C systems. The program expands to these altitudes in the entire ICAO NAT region on Dec.
In aviation, we tend to consider our use of GPS one of the more important applications of the technology, especially when compared to, say, drivers on downtown shopping expeditions. And, of course, it is.
Flight-testing at Toulouse, France, and Frankfurt, Germany, has proved that a reliable alternative to an ILS signal can be produced with a GNSS constellation and single-frequency input signal. Eurocontrol’s Sesar air traffic management research team worked with equipment manufacturers Thales, Indra-Navia, Honeywell and Thales Avionics using a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS). Further testing at both airports is expected to resume in the middle of next year.
Because air traffic controllers are increasingly making traffic separation decisions based upon an aircraft’s global navigation satellite system (GNSS) capability–or lack thereof–the FAA has begun updating aircraft equipment suffixes for traffic operating in U.S. domestic airspace. For instance, a GNSS-equipped aircraft may now fly a random route without the need for ATC radar monitoring, where previously radar was always required.
Garmin unveiled a GPS watch, dubbed D2, designed specifically for aviators today. Features include direct-to and nearest functions; a built-in adjustable altimeter; altitude-alerting capabilities; the option to display both local and Zulu/UTC time; and the ability to integrate with Garmin’s iOS and Android Pilot apps and VIRB HD action camera. Customized data fields can also display GPS ground speed, GPS track, distance, estimated time en route, bearing and glide ratio. When used with the Pilot app, the D2 can load flight plans and create waypoints.
Any of the 6,000 helicopters that annually use the helipad at Eurocopter’s facility in Donauwörth, Germany, will now find arrivals easier in poor weather with the recent certification of a GPS localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approach to the pad, one of the few in Europe certified for all-weather operations.
In 2008 Donauwörth became the first European helipad to introduce satellite-based Rnav (area navigation) specifically for use by rotorcraft.