Honeywell To Augment Australian GPS Signals

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Honeywell last week announced it has entered into an agreement with Airservices Australia to develop and certify a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) and a ground-based regional augmentation system (GRAS) designed to enhance precision of GPS-based aircraft navigation for all phases of flight. Looking a lot like the FAA's wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) and local-area augmentation system (LAAS), both GBAS and GRAS are ground-based systems which monitor the accuracy of navigation signals from GPS satellites and transmit a correction signal to compatible receivers in nearby aircraft, allowing Category 1 precision landing capability. When GBAS-corrected GPS navigation systems are integrated with inertial navigation or other avionics sensors generally available on most commercial airlines, a GBAS is expected to eventually provide Category 2 and 3 landing capability.

“GBAS and GRAS are important elements of a future global air traffic management system that will provide our airline and airport customers with safer, more efficient operations, especially in low visibility weather conditions,” said John Oelschlaeger, director of Honeywell’s Satellite Landing Systems Business. The GRAS technology extends the range of GPS correction signals for en route flight by networking signal transmitters across a larger geographic area, creating a regional or national system, according to Honeywell. The company said GBAS and GRAS can provide benefits to users when installed separately; however, when integrated together into a network, the systems provide aircraft with a “gate-to-gate” precision navigation capability. Honeywell and Airservices expect to receive regulatory approval of both systems in 2008, with commercial availability immediately thereafter.