Kit will enable business aircraft to use technology as ‘primary means of navigation’

Avionics manufacturer Rockwell Collins is introducing a GPS receiver with wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) capability to allow business aircraft operators to take advantage of the growing number of satellite-based precision approaches available in the USA.

The first customer for the WAAS-enabled GPS-4000S is the US Federal Aviation Administration, which will install the system in flight inspection aircraft used to check satellite-based precision approaches.

“The WAAS-capable system will allow pilots to use GPS as the primary means of navigation in the approach phase,” says Denny Helgeson, vice-president and general manager of business and regional systems.

GPS/WAAS provides a near-Category 1 precision approach capability called LPV (localiser performance with vertical guidance). The FAA has so far published some 750 such satellite-based approaches in the USA.

The new GPS receiver will become available early next year, with an upgrade to Collins’ Pro Line 4 and Pro Line 21 flight management systems to enable use of LPV approaches scheduled to be certificated late in 2007.

The US manufacturer has also introduced a new traffic surveillance system for business jets. The TSS-4100 combines TCAS 2 traffic alert and collision avoidance system and Mode S transponder functions into a single line-replaceable unit the same size as a TCAS box, and uses a combined TCAS/Mode S antenna to save weight.

Co-developed with Collins’ air transport business, which is responsible for the integrated surveillance system on the Boeing 787, the TSS-4100 has the capability to host automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) applications for traffic information, merging and sequencing, separation assurance and surface operations.

The TSS-4100 will be available in 2008 to support FAA plans for nationwide deployment of ADS-B as part of its next-generation air transportation system, says Collins. Europe and Australia, meanwhile, are already moving ahead with deployment of ADS-B and Mode S datalink, the company points out.

Source: Flight International