Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Progress on NextGen?

Finally, we're seeing some trickle of detail on how the Joint Program Development Office is progressing in its efforts to brainstorm the Next Generation ATC system...

And as AIN Alerts reported Tuesday, one piece of the puzzle will be a variation on an old, familiar area-nav system. Read the brief:

JPDO Study Endorses eLoran as Best Satnav Backup
A satellite navigation backup study commissioned by the JPDO has given eLoran “the highest overall preference rating...particularly in the U.S.” Not yet publicly released, the 180-page document was prepared by ITT’s advanced engineering and sciences division and assessed seven candidates against a series of essential requirements. The candidates include DME/DME/INS; GNSS/INS; eLoran; VOR; “hardened” GNSS; terrain mapping; and multilateration. Leading requirements were the ability to support RNP values of 2.0, 1.0 and 0.3, for en route, terminal and nonprecision approach respectively, plus technical readiness by 2015 to 2025 and complete independence from satnav. The ability of eLoran to continue beyond INS coasting limits following satnav loss was also noted. The report concluded, “eLoran scored significantly highest for the general aviation segment, and eLoran integration into GNSS/eLoran FMS systems for general aviation and certain air carrier segments appears to be a viable and capable solution.”

Boosts my confidence...slightly...that we'll get what we need in a timeframe that allows many of us to use the new ATC before we're medically relegated to flying only LSAs -- or Ultralights.


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