Capacity Study of Multilateration (MLAT) based Navigation for Alternative Position Navigation and Timing (APNT) Services for Aviation

Sherman C. Lo and Per Enge

Peer Reviewed

Abstract: United States air traffic is anticipated to increase twofold over the next 15 years. To support those levels, the Federal Aviation Administration is implementing the NextGen. NextGen relies heavily on GPS. However, alternative position navigation and timing (APNT) systems will be necessary to allow users to navigate when GPS is unavailable. One alternative is to use multilateration (MLAT) using automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) signals (currently being implemented for surveillance). The APNT must be capable of supporting the full capacity of future airspace. ADS-B frequencies are shared amongst all aircraft and so MLAT has a finite capacity. Additionally, using MLAT for navigation involves changes from the surveillance MLAT that further stresses capacity. This paper models MLATcapacity for the two ADS-B protocols and uses the model to examine means of improving capacity. Results indicate methods of implementing MLAT that can increase capacity and make it a more viable APNT.
Published in: NAVIGATION: Journal of the Institute of Navigation, Volume 59, Number 4
Pages: 263 - 279
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