A new satellite-navigation system, promising a fivefold improvement in accuracy, has been unveiled by Universal Avionics.

The GNSS-2400 uses the US global-positioning system (GPS) and its Russian equivalent, the Glonass. The working prototype was proven during a flight from Switzerland to Florida, and demonstrated at the show.

The initial tests show that, by using the Russian and US systems, position is typically within 16m (50ft) of the truth, compared to the 100m for GPS alone. This is achieved by having access to 48 satellites on 24 channels, which Universal claims, will provide 100% availability and continuity of service for oceanic, enroute, terminal and non-precision approaches.

According to Universal president Hubert Naimer, the development is a breakthrough. "The worldwide aviation community has been concerned about the exclusive control of GPS maintained by the US Department of Defense", he says. US certification is expected by mid-1997 and the new units will cost around $25,000.

Source: Flight International