A government-industry team accomplished the first precision approach by a civil aircraft using a military Global Positioning System (GPS) landing system Aug. 25 at Holloman AFB, N.M., Raytheon Company announced today.
A FedEx Express 727-200 Aircraft equipped with a Rockwell-Collins GNLU-930 Multi-Mode Receiver landed using a Raytheon-developed military ground station. Raytheon designed and developed the differential GPS ground station under an Air Force contract for the Joint Precision Approach and Landings System (JPALS) program.
The JPALS system is being developed to meet the Defense Department's need for an anti-jam, secure, all weather Category II/III aircraft landing system that will be fully interoperable with planned civil systems utilizing the same technology.
Raytheon and the U.S. Air Force have been conducting extensive flight testing for JPALS at Holloman over the last three months.
The FedEx Express 727-200 aircraft at Holloman successfully conducted a total of sixteen Category I approaches. After completing a number of pilot flown approaches for reference the aircraft conducted six full autolands using the JPALS ground station. "The consistency of the approaches allowed us to proceed to actual autolandings with very little delay," said Steve Kuhar, Senior Technical Advisor Flight Department for FedEx Express.
The aircraft was guided by differential GPS corrections, integrity information, and precision approach path points transmitted from the Raytheon developed JPALS ground station. Although the approaches were restricted to Category I, accuracies sufficient to meet Cat II/III requirements were observed.
Raytheon is the world leader in designing and building satellite-based navigation and landing solutions for civil and military applications. In addition to developing JPALS for the Department of Defense, Raytheon is also developing both the Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS) and the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) for the Federal Aviation Administration. The JPALS and LAAS will provide an interoperable landing capability for military and civil applications.
"Raytheon is committed to developing and deploying satellite based navigation and landing systems for the military and the flying public," said Bob Eckel, Raytheon vice president for Air Traffic Management. "We understand the importance of this technology and are proud to be a part of the success achieved this summer during JPALS testing at Holloman."
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