Using Traffic Information Services Broadcast (TIS-B) Signals for Aviation Navigation

Sherman Lo, Yu Hsuan Chen, Andrew Barrows, Adrien Perkins, Tyler Reid, Per Enge, Shau-Shiu Jan

Abstract: A robust ground based navigation system is an essential component of the aviation infrastructure. Future airspace will have to handle higher traffic densities as well as more varied traffic such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). While the changes will be primarily managed with GNSS, a robust, accurate terrestrial alternate is critical should GNSS be unavailable. This paper examines the opportunities, benefits and challenges of using of Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B), particularly on 1090 MHz Mode S Extended Squitter (ES), as a component of a terrestrial aviation navigation system. Flight and ground measurements of ADB-B signals are used to examine performance and detail challenges with using the currently installed ADS-B system. ADS-B offers several attractive possibilities for aviation navigation. It can provide a pseudo ranging signal. This can provide stand-alone en route navigation or supplement other aviation signals such as distance measuring equipment (DME). The addition of ADS-B ranging to DME can greatly improve coverage at lower altitudes and help serve approach. ADS-B transmitted from aircraft can be used to provide a ground calculated position solution through the use of multilateration. Finally, the related traffic information service broadcast (TIS-B) can send aircraft positions derived from multilateration or radar tracking to aircraft for navigation. This paper will describe on air tests of these three possibilities. Mode S ES ADS-B has the additional benefits of being a worldwide standard with installed ground equipment. It is implemented on many aircraft with a mandate to have ADS-B installed in the United States by 2020. As a ranging signal, it is useful because it has wide bandwidth, which aids in reducing multipath errors. This is important as multipath is a key problem for accurate performance of terrestrial signal suitable for the terminal airspace. However, several challenges to using Mode S ES have been identified. For ranging, the signal needs to be modified or supplemented, as it currently does not provide time of transmission and station identification. Our testing in flight and on multi-lateration tests has also shown significant and correlated deviations in the calculated range. These range variations suggests issues that need to be mitigated when using existing 1090 MHz Mode S ES ground stations for navigation. For TIS-B transmission of radar-derived positions, the challenge is latency of the position report. Measurement data from flight tests and a multi-lateration testbed are used to illustrate and examine the effect of these challenges on ranging and positioning.
Published in: Proceedings of IEEE/ION PLANS 2016
April 11 - 14, 2016
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Savannah, GA
Pages: 779 - 788
Cite this article: Lo, Sherman, Chen, Yu Hsuan, Barrows, Andrew, Perkins, Adrien, Reid, Tyler, Enge, Per, Jan, Shau-Shiu, "Using Traffic Information Services Broadcast (TIS-B) Signals for Aviation Navigation," Proceedings of IEEE/ION PLANS 2016, Savannah, GA, April 2016, pp. 779-788.
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