Embedded Avionics

Performance-Based Navigation as a Redundancy for GPS

By Nick Zazulia | February 13, 2018
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Eurocontrol aims to ensure pilots know where they are if their GPS fails them. (Photo courtesy DFS)


What do you do if you're in the air and your GPS goes out? Eurocontrol, with the help of the European Organization for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE), is working on a solution for that.

Using distance measuring equipment, the goal is to ensure that, with or without GPS, pilots can keep track of everything through performance-based navigation, or PBN. For example, if it's known how far the aircraft has gone, how far the trip is, and all the necessary information about the plane and route,  a satellite is not needed to feed information about the aircraft's global position to figure out where it is.

To that end, EUROCAE's workgroup 107, started last November, is devoted to figuring out how best to leverage existing distance measuring avionics and ground systems providers to provide current equipment and operators with more information and a back-up in case of GPS failure.

The group is in the process of drafting newly recommended performance standards, which Eurocontrol said it hopes to complete by the end of 2019.

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