National Academies Press: OpenBook

The Global Positioning System: A Shared National Asset (1995)

Chapter: Current and Future Applications and Requirements

« Previous: GPS AVIATION APPLICATIONS
Suggested Citation:"Current and Future Applications and Requirements." National Research Council. 1995. The Global Positioning System: A Shared National Asset. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4920.
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Page 27
Suggested Citation:"Current and Future Applications and Requirements." National Research Council. 1995. The Global Positioning System: A Shared National Asset. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4920.
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Page 28
Suggested Citation:"Current and Future Applications and Requirements." National Research Council. 1995. The Global Positioning System: A Shared National Asset. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4920.
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Page 29

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GPS APPLICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS 27 Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), based on GPS and additional satellite augmentations, could eventually replace most of these ground-based systems. Current and Future Applications and Requirements Civilian pilots have been utilizing GPS in uncontrolled airspace for applications such as crop dusting, aerial photography and surveying, search and rescue, and basic point-to-point navigation for some time.13 On June 9, 1993, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved GPS for supplemental use in the domestic, oceanic, terminal, and non-precision approach phases of flight in controlled airspace as well. This supplemental use required that another navigation source, such as a ground-based radio aid, must still be monitored while using GPS as the primary system. Once initial operating capability was declared for GPS by the DOD and DOT (Department of Transportation) on December 8, 1993, the monitoring of another navigation system for integrity purposes became unnecessary, provided that the GPS receiver utilized meets the FAA's TSO C-129 criteria for Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM).14 In addition, traditional navigation sources such as VORs and TACANs must still be operational, and their associated receiver equipment must be on board the aircraft as a backup. Several GPS receivers have already been certified under the FAA's TSO C-129 criteria. The use of GPS as the primary means of navigation for the domestic en route through non-precision approach phases of flight will require better availability and continuity of service (reliability) than is currently available from the stand-alone system. Phase I of the FAA's Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), which is scheduled to be in place by 1997, will make this possible. Table 2-4 contains the quantitative performance requirements that the WAAS is being designed to meet.15 In the near future, the FAA hopes that GPS also will be used for Category I precision approaches. Precision approaches are required when the weather conditions at a given airport reduce the ceiling, or height of the base of a cloud layer, and the visibility, or the distance a pilot can see visually, to levels that are below non-precision approach criteria.16 Phase II of the FAA's WAAS implementation, scheduled for completion in 2001, will improve GPS-derived accuracy enough to allow the system to be used for these types of approaches. This increased accuracy requirement, which was also derived from the WAAS request for proposal (RFP), is included in Table 2-4. 13 In uncontrolled airspace, pilots are not in direct communications with air traffic controllers, are responsible for their own navigation, and must be able to avoid terrain and collisions with other aircraft visually. 14 RAIM is discussed in the next chapter, and is further explained in Appendix C. 15 Federal Aviation Administration. Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), Request For Proposal, DTFA01-94- R-21474. 16 Category I approaches can be flown when the visibility is no less than 0.81 kilometers (0.5 miles), and the ceiling is no lower than 61 meters (200 feet).

GPS APPLICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS 28 Testing by the FAA and several contractors is currently underway to determine the feasibility of also using GPS to conduct Category II and III approaches and landings, and the results to date have been very promising. These approaches are flown when the weather conditions at an airport are even worse than those described previously for Category I.17 As can be expected, the accuracy, integrity, and continuity of service requirements are stricter than those for Category I landing systems, and therefore, the concepts currently under development utilize local-area differential GPS augmentations, rather than the WAAS. The requirements for Category II and III, which were derived from the Federal Radionavigation Plan and existing International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements for instrument landing systems (ILS), are listed in Table 2-4.18 GPS also shows promise for use in Traffic Alert/Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance (ADS) systems. TCAS is already used by U.S. airlines and by many airlines in Europe.19 Testing of an updated TCAS, which broadcasts an aircraft's position and velocity derived from GPS on the existing Mode-S datalink, has proven to be more accurate than the existing system.20 The requirements for this application are listed in Table 2-4. ADS systems, which are still under study and development, would automatically broadcast an aircraft's GPS-derived position to the air traffic management (ATM) system via geostationary communications satellites in oceanic airspaces, and via terrestrial-based communications links in domestic airspace.21 This would allow for more efficient ocean crossings than are currently possible using the existing ATM reporting system. ADS would also be useful in the domestic en route and terminal phases of flight, where current aircraft separation is primarily the responsibility of air traffic controllers who utilize secondary surveillance radars. ADS systems are also being considered for monitoring the land-based operations of an airport, such as aircraft taxiing, and service- vehicle collision avoidance. The requirements listed for ADS in Table 2-4, which are based on current radar- based surveillance requirements, should be considered preliminary because the FAA is in the early phases of studying how to use GPS in performing the surveillance function. 17 For example, a properly equipped aircraft can fly a Category IIIB approach when the ceiling is below 15 meters (50 feet) and the visibility is between 50 and 200 meters. Source: Federal Aviation Administration, FAA Advisory Circular No. 120-28C: Criteria for Approval of Category III Landing Weather Minima, 9 March 1984. 18 These requirements are currently under review and may be revised due to an emerging concept known as required navigation performance (RNP). See: R. J. Kelley and J. M. Davis, "Required Navigation Performance (RNP) for Precision Approach and Landing with GNSS Application," Navigation: Journal of the Institute of Navigation 41, no. 1 (1994): pp. 1-30. 19 The current TCAS configuration uses a data link known as Mode-S to measure the vertical separation between two aircraft in close proximity to one another. Measurements that are determined to be too close by the TCAS software set off an alarm that warns the flight crew and allows them to take action. 20 "FAA Redirects TCAS-3 Effort," Aviation Week and Space Technology, 27 September 1993, p. 37. 21 The exact method of transmission in U.S. domestic airspace has not yet been determined.

GPS APPLICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS 29 Table 2-4 GPS Performance Requirements for Aviation Applicationsa Application Accuracy Integrity Availability Continuity Resistance (2 drms) of Service to RF Interference 1 minus Time PHE to times Alarm PMDb Navigation En route 23.0 km Not 30.0 s 99.977% Not High Oceanicc Specified Available En route to 100.0 m 1-1 x10-7 8.0 s 99.999% 1-1x 10-8 High Non-Prec. per hourd per hour App/Landing CAT I App/ 7.6 m 1-4 x 10-8 5.2 s 99.9% 1-5.5x10-5 Very High Landing per app. per app. CAT II App/ 1.7 m 1-0.5 x 2.0 s Not specified 1-2x10-6 Very High Landing (vertical) 10-9 per per 15 sec. app. CAT III 0.6-1.2 m 1-0.5 x 2.0 s Not specified 1-2x10-6 Very High App/Landing (vertical) 10-9 per per 15 sec. app. Survei- TCAS 14.4 me Not Not Several daysf Essential Installed llance Specified Spec. equip.g equipmenth Oceanic Not Not Not Not specified Not Not specified ADS specified specified spec. specified Domestic 200.0 mi Not Not 99.999%i Not Very High ADS specified Spec. specified Surface 12.0 m Not Not 99.87%j Not Very High Surveillance (resol.)j specified spec. specified a. Unless otherwise annotated, GPS aviation requirements were provided by the MITRE Corporation. b. This measure relates the probability that a hazardously misleading error will occur (PHE) and the probability that this error will go undetected (PMD). c. Source of en route oceanic requirements: U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, A Technical Report to the Secretary of Transportation on a National Approach to Augmented GPS Services, NTIA Special Publication 94-30, November 1994, p. 12. It is likely that the accuracy requirement will become significantly more stringent in the future to allow tighter spacing between aircraft. d. This number is equivalent to 0.9999999 or 99.99999 percent. e. Based on current TCAS specifications. f. According to airline minimum equipment list (MEL) practice approved by FAA certification. g. Based on reliability certification for essential equipment. h. Must meet installed equipment test. Otherwise unspecified. i. Based on current radar surveillance. j. Based on Airport Surface Detection Equipment-3 specifications, which require the resolution of two targets separated by 12 meters.

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The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system that was originally designed for the U.S. military. However, the number of civilian GPS users now exceeds the military users, and many commercial markets have emerged. This book identifies technical improvements that would enhance military, civilian, and commercial use of the GPS. Several technical improvements are recommended that could be made to enhance the overall system performance.

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