Navaids in Aviation Essay

926 Words Mar 25th, 2005 4 Pages
How would pilots ever get around so easily without the help of navigation aides? Navigational aides have been around for almost as long as aircraft have been flying in the skies above us. The first navigation system was composted of just a high intensity-flashing beacon. These beacons were placed on the flight routes that were popularly flown in the mid 1920's. With more time more of these technologies that help us navigate the world will be even simpler than today. This paper will explain how some navigational aides work and how some of them came into existence.
Flight Management Systems
Flight management systems are one of the best navaids in commercial aviation. The flight management system (FMS) is made up of four systems in an
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To calculate a position in 2D the system has to be locked on to at least three satellites, but for a 3D representation you need to be locked on to at least 4 satellites. Once the position is found the GPS can calculate much more info like speed, bearing, track, distance, etc… The GPS system is very accurate; Garmin (a leader in GPS technology) states that their newest receiver is accurate up to an average of 15 meters. With the implementation of WAAS (wide area augmentation system) the receiver accuracy can get closer to three meters. There are many different signal errors that can occur with GPS, ionospheric and tropospheric errors are when the signal slows down as it is passed through the ionosphere or the troposphere. Signal multipath error happens when the signal is reflected off of objects. There are many other errors that could happen with relation to GPS that have not been mentioned in this paper.
VHF Omni-Directional Range
VOR's are one of the most widely used navigational aides in aviation. Fifty years ago the VOR was introduced and it is still the primary navigation system in the country. VOR's are very easy to understand. A VOR site sends out two signals simultaneously. One signal is the same in every direction and the other changes as it goes around the station. As the aircraft intercepts the signal, the receiver on the aircraft reads the two signals and determines where you are at

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