The FAA does not want pilots to use Apple’s iPad tablet computer for navigation. Yet pilots are using the iPad and the many moving-map applications available for the device to navigate and view approach plates, Sids and Stars, en route and sectional charts, aircraft documents and a lot more.
“The effects of LightSquared deployment would be far-reaching and potentially devastating to aviation,” the FAA wrote to the President’s Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) group in a report that was recently leaked to the media.
Low-powered incoming GPS signals are allocated 1559-1610 MHz in the L-Band radio spectrum. The neighboring spectrum–from 1525-1559 Mhz–is allocated to other, equally low-powered, incoming satellite signals, such as Sky Terra’s. GPS receivers are open to signals above the blue line shown, but filter out signals below it, and require modification to accept Glonass.
Advances in avionics don’t negate the need for old standbys such as a handheld transceiver for use in the unlikely event your digital panel goes dark, or simply to pick up Atis or a clearance before engine start. Sporty’s Pilot Shop’s handheld SP-400 navcom makes a worthy backup, providing more nav information than other navcoms in a package little larger than transceivers that offer only com functions.
Avidyne signaled that it is joining the trend toward avionics with touchscreen controls by launching its IFD540 FMS/GPS/navcom system at EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, Wis., yesterday.
LightSquared is running an advertising campaign in Washington, D.C., that includes prominent multiple advertisements along the platforms of downtown stations of the city’s Metro system serving Capitol Hill, FAA headquarters and other key government offices. Photo at left was taken this morning by an AIN staffer at L'Enfant Plaza Metro station.
A study released by the Save Our GPS Coalition warns of “serious repercussions for the U.S. economy” if LightSquared is allowed to broadcast 4G broadband signals that cause interference with GPS. According to the study, more than 3.3 million U.S.
West Star Aviation recently installed the first Rockwell Collins Pro Line 4 to Pro Line 21 upgrade on the Falcon 2000. The upgrade is now available for Pro Line 4-equipped Falcon 2000/2000EXs.
It is only in the past few of years that GPS approaches, pioneered in Alaska in the 1990s, have started to become available. These form another element of a future, efficient system where aircraft are managed in time as well as space, take efficient paths and don’t waste burning fuel in unnecessary holds.
“The test data discussed today makes clear that there is substantial interference to GPS if LightSquared turns on high-powered terrestrial facilities in the spectrum next door to GPS,” Trimble vice president and general counsel Jim Kirkland said today at an event sponsored by the National Space-Based PNT Advisory Board. Kirkland is also a founding member of the Coalition to Save Our GPS.