Today, most of us would probably rate cellphones, ATMs and the Internet as the three most useful modern gadgets we use regularly. We likely wouldn’t rank GPS up there, and maybe not even in the top 10. Yet without GPS, those three wouldn’t work too well, if at all, and neither would a host of other things that we depend on (reliable electrical power; banking systems; national and worldwide telecommunications, including air traffic control; and car navigation, to name a few). And with NextGen slowly approaching, aviation’s dependence on GPS will grow exponentially.
A cooperation between General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and Selex Galileo will enable the integration and control of non-U.S. sensors on the Predator and Reaper UAV series. Selex Galileo has developed a “platform agnostic” open architecture named SkyIstar for unmanned aerial systems. The Anglo-Italian company will now integrate the SeaSpray 7500E radar on a Predator-B.
At last week’s Paris Air Show Selex Galileo displayed a larger version of its Falco unmanned air vehicle, fitted with longer wings for greater endurance and better payload capability. Designated Falco EVO, the new version has a wingspan of 12.5 meters (41 feet) compared with 7.2 meters (23.62 feet), allowing an increase in maximum takeoff weight to 650 kilograms (1,430 pounds), up from 450 kg (990 pounds).
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.
Grifo 15, one of the four ATR 42MP aircraft operated by the Maritime Exploration Squadron of Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (GdF) customs police takes off from its home base at Pratica di Mare, east of Rome. As soon as the takeoff procedures are completed, the two crewmembers responsible for the radar and optronic sensors turn their seats toward the consoles and switch on the airborne tactical surveillance system (ATOS).
Following a certification and verification process, the European Commission approved the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (Egnos) “safety-of-life” service for aviation last month. Egnos is closely similar to, and compatible with, the U.S. Waas satellite-based augmentation system that corrects timing errors in GPS signals, enabling GPS precision approaches and shorter, more-direct routes.
Following a certification and verification process, the European Commission approved the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (Egnos) “safety-of-life” service for aviation last Wednesday. Egnos is closely similar to, and compatible with, the U.S. Waas satellite-based augmentation system that corrects timing errors in GPS signals, making it more accurate.
Selex Galileo (Stand OE1 & OE2) is displaying a range of its radar, electro-optic/infrared and electronic warfare sensors here at Farnborough. The company, part of the Finmeccanica group, has been selected to supply sensors to many of Europe’s leading programs, as evidenced by its place on Eurofighter’s Typhoon combat aircraft as provider of the Captor radar, Praetorian defensive aid suite and Pirate infrared search and track.
Eurocopter recently announced the success of the flights it conducted in November with an EC145 light twin to test Galileo satellite navigation. Galileo, Europe’s GPS counterpart, is expected to offer higher reliability than current augmented GPS. But
the helicopter manufacturer does not expect the tested applications to be operational until 2015.
The U.S. Coast Guard and its parent, the Department of Homeland Security, on January 7 announced that U.S. loran-C stations will be progressively shut down between February and October, since everyone now uses GPS for navigation. The banks and the communications industry also moved from loran to the slightly more accurate GPS for split-second transaction timing for our ATMs and our cellphones.