Aviation 213 Mid Term What WAAS and LAAS means for the future of air travel? WAAS, the Wild Area Augmentation System is an air navigation system developed by the FAA to Augment GPS satellites. WAAS is used to track aircraft in flight to better improve its accuracy and ability to locate aircraft within 25 ft. actual measurements of the system have shown accuracy as precise as 3 ft 3 in. laterally and 4 ft 11 in. vertically throughout most of the United States and Canada. The WAAS system has the ability to critique itself and correct problems such as incorrect signals in as little as 6. 2 seconds. The WAAS system does this by using ground segment stations that continuously measure the small variations in GPS satellites in the Western Hemisphere and route their findings to a master station that uploads the information to the satellite. The satellite in turn sends the corrected information to the aircraft where it is processed and displayed. The WAAS system when operating is expected to have reliability rating of 99. 999% meaning a downtime five minutes or less a year. The WAAS system is an extremely accurate tool for pinpointing aircraft in the sky and far exceeds the ability of radar today. In the future of air travel the WAAS system is going to change the way we do business. In the aircraft the pilot is going to be able to plot his course, pick his altitude, and route the flight with more control. He/she will be able to fly specified routes knowing accurately where the surrounding aircraft are flying within their vicinity. For example, pilots can make a safe instrument approach to any airport in the United States as well as having the ability to fly from one airport another in a straight line as opposed to flying specified flight routes. Another benefit is the ability to fly safely at low altitudes. This will not only cut down flight time it will also reduce fuel burn and have some environmental benefits. The reason this can be done is not only the GPS’s accuracy but also that the GPS is not affected by obstructions such as mountains. The aircraft will have accurate information at all altitudes and locations in the United States. As for the Air traffic controller the WAAS system will provide pinpoint accuracy on the scope that will allow the air traffic controller to fly aircraft close together safely as well as a computer having the ability to alert a controller of any possible safety issue before they happen. The biggest thing is the controller can allow pilot of an aircraft to fly in closer configuration, lower to the ground, and safely to any airport. This allows the pilot more control in the flight deck. When this system takes place in the future, air travel will be safer, faster, and more fuel and environmental efficient. LAAS is a Local Area Augmentation System. The LAAS is an all weather aircraft landing system based on real-time differential correction of the GPS signal. The system takes data from local reference receivers around the airport at precise surveyed locations. It sends this data to a central location where it is used to formulate a correction message. It is the sent to the aircraft using a VHF signal. The aircraft utilizes the corrected data against the GPS data to project a ILS-style display for the pilot. The pilot may use this information to fly a precision style approach. In the future of air travel this system will help pilots of aircraft use the LAAS system in combination with the WAAS system to make precision CAT III landings at qualified airports. The use of these combined systems will improve safety, possibly lower landing minimums and create an absolute ease of system use. As for air traffic controller this will be a tool to ease their life and with the possibility of having lower flight minimums comes the ability to get the aircraft to their intended destination. What is the upcoming deployment of the “Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast” System? The Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is a cooperative surveillance technique for air traffic control and related applications being developed as part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System. Instead of using radar data to keep aircraft at safe distances from one another, in the future, signals from the Global Navigation Satellite System will provide air traffic controllers and pilots with much more accurate information that will help keep aircraft safely separated in the sky and on runways. Eventually, with ADS-B, some of the responsibility for keeping safe distances between aircraft will shift from air traffic controllers on the ground to pilots who will have displays in the cockpits pinpointing all the air traffic around them, along with local weather displays.
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