This December Evergreen Airlines will start to fit out 6 Boeing 747 freighter with a new system that features enhanced GPS accuracy, flight global reported this week.
Evergreen will trial the new system for 2 years, collecting data on how effectively the aircraft maintain their routes and approached, using existing systems on the same routes as a control.
Positional accuracy will be increased from 1m to 1m in the new wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) by boosting correction signals that combined with basic GPS signals in on board receivers. A key benefit to having WAAS is the ability to fly vertical guidance precision (LPV) approaches, the GPS equivalent of a Category 1 instrument approach.
Globally, there are now three SBAS in operation – WAAS in the US, EGNOS in Europe and MSAS in Japan. A fourth system, GAGAN, is slated to come on line in India in 2013.
The FAA are keen to test the interoperability of all the systems for airborne navigation and instrument approach applications, hence the Evergreen programme.