Essay Global Positioning Systems and Air Cargo

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This paper describes the concept of the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and how they improve the Air Cargo industry. In this paper we will discuss how GPS came to be and how it is used in every day air travel. The paper will also explain how the GPS systems improve the Air Cargo industry in tracking the shipment from one hub to another.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a system of navigation based on the integration of 24 satellites, 21 working systems and 3 backups, that relay information regarding craft position and velocity to users (Colborn, 1992). First initiated as a program by the US Department of Defense through their Navstar system, GPS was deployed and fully operational in 1994 and speculations of the utility of this
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At the time, microwave landing systems, or MLS, were due to replace instrument landing systems, and theorists recognized the possible benefits that could be attained from implementing controls through the GPS systems (Moxon, 1992). Because of the relative cost-effectiveness of these systems and the fact that satellite positioning systems allowed for a greater degree of flexibility in navigational assistance, it was believed that GPS could aid in precision landings (Moxon, 1992).

Furniss (1992) recognized that theorists predicted that GPS satellites could be used to provide air traffic control surveillance and communications as well as navigational support and reduce traffic management costs by reducing the need for costly and inefficient ground-based systems. This projection has come into view in recent years and has begun to shape the progress in specific air-service-based industries, including the air cargo industry.

In 1994, the Federal Aviation Administration, working in cooperation with NASA, concluded a process of testing which underscored the belief in the possibility of using GPS satellites to navigate commercial airliners, especially during the approach and landing segments, in order to improve efficiency as well as operational safety. GPS satellites assist ground-based personnel by providing them with a more
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