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Shouldn't All Aircraft Be Installed With This?

Mon Jul 02, 2001 4:12 am

In 1990 the Swedish inventor Håkan Lans invented a new navigation system for commercial aviation, which would make it easier for pilots and for air traffic controllers. His new system implies that the pilots have a GPS similar radar in cockpit, which shows where other aircraft is in the air. Because of this radar, the air traffic controllers only have to say “Follow the aircraft in front of you” to the pilots instead of tell them every navigation point. By this, the air traffic controllers can form a group of aircraft in a pretty simple way. This can be used in all type of flying. The system also shows if there is any obstacle on the runway when the aircraft is approaching the runway. A voice also tell the pilots to pull up when the aircraft is below 500 feet above the ground, if the obstacle still is on runway. This is a very good aid for example at very low visibility.
Doesn’t it sounds perfect?

Not to everyone. Even if the system has been available for over 10 years, the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA have not approved this system for use in commercial aviation.
Because this would, according to a report from FAA “damage the reputation of United States as a leading country in commercial aviation”. The new system would, of course let countries scrap the current navigation system, which also is made in America. Not only because of better performances, the new system has an overall cost less than a 1/10 of the current system. To upgrade the current system would also be a money question.
The FAA use any kind of weapon to avoid that other countries left the current (their) system.
Håkan Lans doesn’t want to say if he has bodyguards, but he says that he doesn’t want to remove the air traffic controllers as according to him “For ever will be need”.

But is the current navigation system so good as it can handle the current air traffic?
Since Lans invented the new system in 1990, the current system has caused many accidents which the new system could avoid to make happen. The worst one was in 1996 when a 747 from Saudia collided, with a cargo aircraft from Kazakhstan. Over 300 people were killed in that collision, caused by a fault from an air traffic controller.
Would they have lived if Lans system was used from the beginning?
Remember that they were men as much as I and you are.

What’s your opinion?

Simon Larsson

You know the gear is up when it takes full power to taxi
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RE: Shouldn't All Aircraft Be Installed With This?

Mon Jul 02, 2001 5:40 am

Didn't anyone reply to this last time?

It sounds like the scheme you're describing is similar to ADS-B, a GPS-based traffic information system.

Without examining your claims about the FAA (including your numbers) too closely, I will simply say that I highly doubt the FAA or any controller is content with a system where the pirmary factor that determines the spacing of enroute aircraft is the resolution of the tracking radar. In fact, I challenge you to find someone who believes (who knows what they're talking about) that no improvements on the current ATC system are necessary.

Now as for Mr. Lans' system, its prudent to address a few shortcomings with a GPS-only-based traffic reporting system:

1.) The signal from a GPS satellite is relatively weak, only about 300 watts. This makes the potential for service interruption (unintentional or otherwise) a real possibility. Now what are you going to do when a bunch of aircraft aren't able to determine where they are or are reporting a wrong position based in incorrect data? You would almost need to have some sort of way to guarantee the quality and integrity of a GPS signal...lo and behold, the FAA is developing a Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) so aircraft can operate in US airspace using a signal that the 'controlling authority' can ensure is available and accurate because they control it (and not the military).

2.) Altitude information derived from uncorrected GPS data isn't all that great. In my experience, I've seen it be accurate to within 50 feet, with variations of up to several hundred feet among measurements. This is not precise-enough to attempt to measure the vertical speed of an aircraft and is in no way of higher fidelity that a good radio altimeter.

3.) Air traffic controlers are still an integral part of the system. The only thing that would change is the quality and source of the position data. As a bonus, the system has the potential to reduce voice communications by using digital data links between aircraft and the controller and among aircraft.

I would be very interested to know the source of the quote you stated in your post about a better mousetrap being damaging to the reputation of the U.S. Until then, I sleep soundly at night knowing Jane Garvey's goons can beat up anyone they want.


RE: Shouldn't All Aircraft Be Installed With This?

Mon Jul 02, 2001 1:03 pm

The midair collision that you are talking about was caused by the failure of the descending aircraft to level at his assigned altitude. Navigation had nothing to do with it.

Blaming the Air Traffic Controller in order to sell a new piece of navigation equipment is pretty "low"!

I most certainly remember that some of these dead people were human, unfortunately I have to add that some of them were also "friends"!!!!!

BTW, have you ever heard of TCAS?
Top Gun
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RE: Shouldn't All Aircraft Be Installed With This?

Mon Jul 02, 2001 5:29 pm

We already have systems that does everything you say your country mate's does.

TCAS/ACAS is a Secondary Servaillance Radar that transmits a signal out and infront of the aircraft. It picks up on other aircraft's transpoder and will show up on the display (useally coupled to the VSI in older A/C). The fall back to this systems is that that aircraft needs a transponder aswell. If it's too close it will give a audiable warning that is called a Traffic Advisory, if that goes ignored there is a Resulution Advisory which means you better do something or theres going to be a mid-air collsion.

In the US the ATCer's use a 2 mile seperation rule, but they don't always use that becaues a 747-400 in front of a 737-200 will create alot of turbulance. In that case they use 4 miles (my memory falls short these days, it could be 5).

In Instrument flying there needs to be acurate seperation between aircraft. You cannot deviate from your altitude by +/- 100 feet or 5% of your TAS. If you do, you get on the horn and tell the ATC so they can set up the airplanes around you.

About the obstacle thing. We have a system called Ground Priximity Warning System. This tells us in when we are 500-400-300-200-100-50-40-30-20 feet above the ground. It also tells us if our gear isn't down, if there's windshear and all sorts of goodies.

At major airports the security or fire department personal do routine runway checks, to well, check the runway for FOD.

I have pretty much summed up what you friends invention does.

And 99% of airliners in the world have these systems. The ones that don't are deep in Africa or Columbia doing illegal drug runs.

Best wishes,
Chris, A320 captain.
Posts: 3369
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:58 am

RE: Shouldn't All Aircraft Be Installed With This?

Thu Jul 05, 2001 11:53 am


Your story is just that. A "story". The FAA doesn't actively sabotage the development of any foreign aircraft systems. They certainly wouldn't have made the statement you quoted.

The FAA tries to use the best information possible when developing infrastructure and standards whether the information or technology is domestic or foreign. They have adopted several JAR operation and design standards into the FARS. Just check out the NPRMs at the FAA website.

You only have to review the history of MLS to prove that the FAA sometimes hurts American commercial operators and American avionics developers in an attempt to develop their navigation systems. Nobody is immune and everyone has a chance.

US avionics manufacturers on the other hand have a commercial stake in the development of navigation systems and would certainly try to protect their interests. Just like any other company in the world.

Many US avionics manufacturers scrambled to develop ACAS II software to upgrade existing TCAS II systems to the Eurocontrol standards so that they wouldn't be left behind.

As previously stated, the capabilities you mentioned are available now with TCAS and TAWS. As a matter of fact, the TSO for TAWS makes allowances for the system to use Radar imaging technology in lieu of terrain data bases. Nobody as yet has developed such as system because of the great expense. Do you really think the system you're talking about would be 1/10 of the cost of existing systems?
Topic Author
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RE: Shouldn't All Aircraft Be Installed With This?

Thu Jul 05, 2001 4:36 pm

The source of this topic is a TV-program, Reporterna (The Reporters) which was sent in February 2000 here in Sweden. It was about this, Eurocontrol and the Capton cable. So this topic is just written from my mind but the point is here.

And yes, this system has an overall cost less than a 1/10 because it doesn't use the expensive radarsystem as much as the current system does.

Because I'm on vacation I will give you more information later.

Simon Larsson
You know the gear is up when it takes full power to taxi
Topic Author
Posts: 607
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2000 9:54 pm

RE: Shouldn't All Aircraft Be Installed With This?

Tue Jul 10, 2001 2:03 am

Here's a link about this navigation system.

Simon Larsson
You know the gear is up when it takes full power to taxi

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