[Avionics Today 11-6-2015] Honeywell Aerospace has released a third generation software update for its SmartPath Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS), following certification by the FAA. The new software upgrades further enhance precise satellite-guided flight navigation that can increase airport capacity while improving the safety and fuel efficiency of aircraft during approach, landing and takeoff.
Computer rendering of Honeywell SmartPath GBAS concept. Photo: Honeywell Aerospace.
Moreover, the software updates (referred to as Block II) will enable airlines and airports to achieve more benefits from Honeywell’s SmartPath by improving the availability of the system even where GPS signals are negatively impacted by unique weather conditions, primarily at low latitudes.
According to Honeywell, new software upgrade lets user configure SmartPath to optimize its availability based on their operational environment, and increases the number of approaches to an airport, from 26 to 48 per station.
Additionally, Honeywell’s SmartPath GBAS will also come with an optional Block II-S upgrade, which integrates another form of GPS augmentation, called Satellite-Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS). Block II-S takes advantage of the SBAS’ regional view to mitigate GPS errors not detectable at the airport level, improving the performance of GBAS. Along with supporting operational enhancements such as extending service volumes and further improving availability, the Block II-S upgrade is expected to support specially authorized Category II operations, without the need for any changes to Category I equipment on the aircraft. Block II is a software-only update and Block II-S is a simple hardware update to add an SBAS-capable GPS receiver and antenna to the system.
These upgrades will be available to new and existing customers in the fourth quarter of 2015.