Auto Landing With GPS

B. W. Parkinson, K. T. Fitzgibbon

Abstract: Landing is the most critical phase of aircraft flight. Over the last four decades, landing instrumentation has improved significantly at most large commercial airports in the US. The new MLS system should further enhance these capabilities. However, these improvements are not available at thousands of smaller fields in the US,nor are they generally available in third-world countries. With the deployment of the Global Positioning System (GPS), a very precise new positioning sensor is potentially available worldwide. For the aircraft landing problem, GPS offers a very unique capability to directly and precisely measure three dimensions of earth-referenced velocity (to better than 3 centimeters/second). This velocity measurement is invaluable in developing an Automatic Landing System (ALS). This paper presents new test results on the C/ A GPS error models, for multi-channel, carrier tracking receivers. By the early 1990's, these receivers should cost less than $2000 (they are available today at less than $10.000). The error model is then used in the design and landing simulation of an ALS for the Boeing 747. The simulation includes both normal and differential GPS results for landing under a variety of wind shear and gust conditions. Also included are results when a radar altimeter or ground-based pseudolites are included in the landing system. The quantitative positioning errors are compared to the FAA requirements for various classes of landing capability. A major conclusion is that differential GPS should have the capability for FAA category I or II landings at smaller, fairly unimproved airports. The cost of the ground-based differential system should be less than $100,000. making this system economically viable for hundreds of airfields that currently have no landing aids.
Published in: Proceedings of the International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GPS 1988)
September 19 - 23, 1988
The Broadmoor Hotel
Colorado Spring, CO
Pages: 177 - 185
Cite this article: Parkinson, B. W., Fitzgibbon, K. T., "Auto Landing With GPS," Proceedings of the International Technical Meeting of the Satellite Division of The Institute of Navigation (ION GPS 1988), Colorado Spring, CO, September 1988, pp. 177-185.
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