Imagine the fun if every pilot’s understanding of where London Stansted Airport actually sits on the earth’s surface were a little different. Some might think it was in London proper, others in Essex, and a few more might be willing just to take their chances. When a passenger asked to be flown there, no one could really guarantee everyone would end up in the same place.
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.
Representatives from a wide variety of industries, companies and associations, including AOPA and GAMA, have joined together to form the Coalition To Save Our GPS to resolve a “serious threat” to GPS.
At press time, the first of three monthly reports of the technical arguments between experts from LightSquared and the GPS community over GPS jamming was about to be issued.
A panel of experts, selected jointly by the GPS Industry Council and LightSquared Corp., is currently determining whether LightSquared’s proposed NAS-wide network of 40,000 powerful ground stations transmitting voice and Internet traffic could interfere with and potentially jam GPS receivers operating within their own FCC-protected frequency band.
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.
Over the next three months, a panel of 14 experts will test and analyze whether LightSquared's proposal to transmit Internet data from a nationwide network of 40,000 high-powered ground stations will jam very low powered GPS signals operating in the immediately adjacent GPS frequency band.
Small, inexpensive GPS jammers carried by truckers have caused the occasional shutdown of the Laas test installation at Newark Airport. The devices, powered by simply plugging into the cigarette lighter, are intended to foil interrogations of the truck's remotely installed GPS and its coupled cellphone by the trucking company's dispatcher to check on the vehicleπs location and progress.
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 first geostationary satellite for India’s Gagan GPS space-based augmentation system (SBAS)–essentially similar to Waas–was lost on April 15 when its launch rocket’s second-stage cryogenic engine failed to ignite. That followed the early-April loss of Intelsat’s Galaxy 15 geosat, which was carrying the FAA’s Pacific Waas transponder.