ATM Modernization, Commercial

Report: SBAS, GBAS Market Worth $6 Billion Worldwide

By Tish Drake | May 31, 2012
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A new report from ATC Global pegs the emerging global satellite- and ground-based augmentation market at more than $6 billion as the market shifts to more integrated and automated air traffic management (ATM) networks.
Ground-Based Augmentation Systems (GBAS) and Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS) are becoming increasingly important precision guidance systems for aircraft operations around the world wanting to access smaller airports and airfields at times of limited visibility.

There are current eight actual and potential SBAS planned or in operation around the world. The $6 billion price tag from ATC Global is based on the latest cost estimates for the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) program in the United States, which is currently the largest and most advanced nationwide program under development. According to the report, more than 35,000 SBAS receivers have been sold.

SBAS are more widespread than GBAS with countries including Japan (Mutli-Functional Satellite Augmentation System, or MSAS), India (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation, or GAGAN), Russia (System for Differential Connections and Monitoring, or SDCM), China (Satellite Navigation Augmentation System, or SNAS) and South/Central America (SACCSA) developing systems. In general, large airlines have opposed SBAS, citing high cost concerns and lack of clear view for the future system development.

“Most SBAS applications are centered on areas where light aviation can use the systems to access smaller airfields, with other areas of the world waiting to see the results of more detailed cost-benefit analysis,” according to the report.

GBAS applications are more tailored, according to ATC Global. Brazil, Australia, Germany and Spain have all installed prototype GBAS systems and are involved with the technical and operational evaluation activities. FAA in the United States and Eurocontrol in Europe are researching GBAS activities within the framework of their respective airspace modernization initiatives, NextGen and SESAR.

“Common understanding and practice of system approval, and the use of common test cases and tools will be valuable in the implementation of GBAS around the world,” according to the report.

Precision Guidance Systems
GBAS: A system which augments global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) signals-in-space by performing local area corrections for all satellites in view and broadcasting corrections and approach path information via VHF data link. A single GBAS ground station can support multiple approaches for all runways at an airport.
Currently being deployed, developed or studied in Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Brazil and the United States.
SBAS: A system based on the transmission of differential corrections and integrity messages for navigation satellites that are within sight of a network of reference stations deployed across an entire continent. SBAS messages are broadcast via geostationary satellites able to cover vast areas and augments GNSS in terms of accuracy, integrity, continuity and availability.
Currently being deployed, developed or studied in India, Japan, France, Germany, Poland, Span, Switzerland, U.K., Canada and the United States. 

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