New Airbus A350 Airliner Comes EGNOS-Capable

May 18, 2015  - By
4 Comments
Airbus_A350_node_full_image_2

The twin-engine, wide-body Airbus A350 XWB, seen here at Spain’s Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport, comes with EGNOS capability.

News by the European Space Agency

The EGNOS system, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) for sharpening the accuracy of satnav across Europe, has been adopted by a growing number of airports to enable satellite-guided landing approaches. The new Airbus A350 airliner, currently entering service, comes fitted with it as standard.

“For the first time on the A350 we have a new system called the Satellite Landing System,” explained Jean-Francois Bousquie, an Airbus flight-test engineer focused on avionics. “This allows pilots to perform precision landing approaches guided by EGNOS or its U.S. equivalent, WAAS, offering vertical guidance down to a minimum of 60 meters before the pilot sights the ground to make the go/no-go decision on the final landing descent.”

A350 isi equipped with a new system called the Satellite Landing System, allowing pilots to perform precision landing approaches guided by EGNOS or its US equivalent WAAS. This capability offers vertical landing guidance down to a minimum of 60 m before the pilot sights the ground to make the go/no-go decision on the final landing descent.

The A350’s Satellite Landing System allows pilots to perform precision-landing approaches guided by EGNOS or its U.S. equivalent, WAAS. The capability offers vertical landing guidance down to a minimum of 60 miles before the pilot sights the ground to make the go/no-go decision on the final landing descent.

The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay System, or EGNOS, can provide horizontal and vertical guidance to anywhere in Europe, without the need for any additional airport-hosted infrastructure. By using three geostationary satellites and a 40-strong network of ground stations, EGNOS improves the accuracy of GPS signals over European territory, while also providing continuous updates on their integrity.

The result is that the EGNOS-augmented signals are guaranteed to meet the extremely high performance standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation standard, adapted for Europe by Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation. The signals from space can therefore be relied on routinely for the safety-critical task of vertically guiding aircraft during landing approaches.

A total of 131 airports in Europe offer some 225 EGNOS-based approach procedures. By 2020, 582 landing procedures are expected across 20 European countries. The largest international airports use Instrument Landing System (ILS) infrastructure, with radio beams offering a truly precision landing capability, including the ability to autoland when visibility is at its worst.

But ILS is expensive to install and maintain, so smaller regional airports often forego it. The same is true of many new or expanding airports. Even with larger airports, in many cases only their busiest runways are equipped with ILS. So EGNOS offers a cost-effective way of safely increasing use of remaining runways, boosting the flexibility of any given airport.

“By reducing the value of the minima — the lowest safely guided altitude — for non-ILS runways, EGNOS increases the efficiency and safety of aircraft landings,” added Bousquie. “The take-up of EGNOS by European airports remains relatively low for now, but this should change over time. And with the A350, we are really designing for the long term — each aircraft will have a working life of 25 to 30 years.”

“Every qualified commercial airline pilot has been trained on ILS, to follow its radio beam,” Bousquie said. “So the Satellite Landing System works by having them follow the same type of cues as much as possible on a ILS ‘look-alike’ basis, employing all available navigation data including EGNOS.”

A pair of onboard Multi Mode Receivers manage the A350’s radio sensors, compute the deviations and ensure interface with display and guidance systems.

About the Author:


4 Comments on "New Airbus A350 Airliner Comes EGNOS-Capable"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. racaud says:

    “… offering vertical guidance down to a minimum of 60 miles before the pilot sights … ” => actually it’s 60 meters, therefore should be translated to 200 feet and not 60 miles
    Best regards,
    T. Racaud

  2. Hugh Colton says:

    No pilot would ever be able to land if your assertion that he has to see the ground at 60 miles to make a go/ no go decision. Try 60 feet.

  3. S.Tyson says:

    Both the article and the picture talk about a decision height of 60 miles…I hope they are wearing space suits…I suspect that 60 Meters which is roughly 200 feet is what the author really meant to say, but maybe auto-correct got the best of him/her. A little proof-reading would really help with the quality here.

    Cheers,
    S. Tyson

Post a Comment