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RADIO AIDS

COURSE NOTES

These notes have been adapted by the Kenya School of Flying for
students undertaking PPL to CPL/ATPL courses. The notes can also
be used for Flight Operations Officers/Flight Dispatch course.

1` 5]

INDEX

RADIO AIDS
1. Basic Radio Theory 01
2. VDF Direction Finding 15
3. NDB & ADF 18
4. VOR 27
5. ILS 34
6. Radar Theory 41
7. DME 45
8. SSR 49
9. Weather Radar 52
10. Radio Altimeters 57
11. RNAV 59
12. GPS 61
13. GPWS 66
CHAPTER 1

BASIC RADIO THEORY

PROPAGATION OF RADIO WAVES

If an alternating current is fed to an aerial some of the power will be radiated outwards from
the aerial in the form of ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIO WAVES. A similar aerial, parallel to,
but at some distance from the first will intercept the electromagnetic radio wave and an
alternating current will be induced in the aerial which is identical to the alternating current
fed to the transmitting aerial. This is the basis of all radio systems.

SPEED OF PROPAGATION

Radio waves travel approximately at the speed of light :-

162 000 Nautical Miles per Second 300 000 000 Metres per Second
186 000 Statute Miles per Second 300 000 Kilometres per Second

TERMINOLOGY

CYCLE A cycle is one complete series of values

HERTZ One hertz is one cycle per second

FREQUENCY (f) The number of cycles per second expressed in Hertz


1 Cycle per Second = 1 Hz
1000 Hz = 1 Khz (Kilohertz)
1000 Khz = 1 Mhz (Megahertz)
1000 Mhz = 1 Ghz (Gigahertz)

AMPLITUDE The maximum displacement from the mean value

WAVELENGTH (h) The distance travelled by a radio wave in one cycle

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FREQUENCY WAVELENGTH RELATIONSHIP

A radio wave travels at 300 000 000 metres per second.


If the transmission frequency is 1 Hertz, then the physical space covered by 1 cycle is
300 000 000 metres.

If the transmission frequency is 2 Hertz, then the physical space covered by 2 cycles is
300 000 000 metres or the space covered by 1 cycle is 150 000 000 metres.

FREQUENCY = 300 000 000 Metres /Sec Or 162 000 Nautical Miles/ Sec
in HERTZ WAVELENGTH in Metres WAVELENGTH in Nautical Miles

WAVELENGTH = 300 000 000 Metres / Sec Or 162 000 Nautical Miles /Sec
FREQUENCY in HERTZ FREQUENCY in HERTZ

Example 1 A VOR transmits on a frequency of 116.1 Mhz, the wavelength in


metres is :-

Wavelength = 300 000 000 Metres / Sec = 2.584 metres


116.1 Mhz x 1000 x 1000

Example 2 A transmission frequency is 13.6 Khz, the wavelength in nautical


miles is :-

Wavelength 162 000 nm per second = 11.9118nm


13.6 Khz x 1000

Example 3 A Weather Radar has a wavelength of 3.2 centimetres, the


transmission frequency is :-

Frequency = 300 000 000 metres per second x 100 = 9 375 000 000 Hz
3.2 cms 9 375 000 Khz
9 375 Mhz
9.375 Ghz
(1GHZ = 1 000 000 000Hz)

PHASE

Phase refers to a particular point in one cycle. The start of the cycle is referred to as phase
0, the mid point of the cycle as phase 180 and the end of the cycle as phase 360 which
is the start of the second cycle.

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PHASE DIFFERENCE

If two signals are transmitted on the same frequency the two wave forms would
superimpose each other and their phase can be compared. If they reach the same value at
the same time they are in phase, otherwise they will be out of phase and the phase
difference can be measured. Phase comparison is used by VOR. The amplitude of the two
transmissions need not be the same.

POLARISATION

When a alternating current is fed to an aerial ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIO WAVES are


radiated from the aerial. These waves alternate at the same frequency as the AC fed to the
aerial and have two components. An ELECTRICAL (E) FIELD and a MAGNETIC (H or M)
FIELD. They are at right angles to each other and to the direction of propagation.

If the transmission is from a VERTICAL AERIAL the transmission is said to be VERTICALLY


POLARISED. The ELECTRICAL FIELD will be in the VERTICAL and the MAGNETIC
FIELD in the HORIZONTAL. For optimum reception the receiving aerial should be vertical.

If the transmission is from a HORIZONTAL AERIAL the transmission is said to be


HORIZONTALLY POLARISED and the ELECTRICAL FIELD is in the HORIZONTAL and the
MAGNETIC FIELD will be in the VERTICAL.

NDB transmissions are Vertically polarised while VOR transmissions are Horizontally
polarised.

POLAR DIAGRAM

A polar diagram represents the field strength or the power radiated from an aerial. The
polar diagram of an NDB (Non Directional Beacon) is a circle, while the polar diagram of an
ILS is a lobe, it transmits along the approach path to a runway. All points on the polar
diagram are equal signal strength.

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AUDIO FREQUENCIES AF

The human hearing range is in the order of 50 Hz to 15 Khz, frequencies outside this range
cannot be heard. The human voice has a frequency range of 100 Hz to 5 Khz. To transmit
and receive such low frequencies demands very large aerials and high transmission power.

RADIO FREQUENCIES RF

Radio Frequencies are outside the human hearing range. To transmit a frequency of 400
Khz is relatively simple but cannot be heard by the human ear. To make the signal audible
a Beat Frequency Oscillator is used. The BFO in the receiver produces internally a
frequency (398 Khz) similar to that being received (400 Khz). It then takes the difference
between the two frequencies (2 Khz) which is an Audio Frequency and is fed to the
headphones, thus a steady tone is heard. This is the principle of ADF/NDB reception.

FREQUENCY BAND RANGE

Listed is a table of frequency bands that concern us:

BAND FREQUENCY RANGE


VLF 3-30 KHz
Very Low Frequency
LF 30-300 KHz
Low Frequency
MF 300 KHz-3 MHz
Medium Frequency
HF 3-30 MHz
High Frequency
VHF 30-300 MHz
Very High Frequency
UHF 300 MHz-3 GHz
Ultra High Frequency
SHF 3-30 GHz
Super High Frequency
EHF 30-300 GHz
Extremely High Frequency

MODULATION

The process of impressing intelligence or information onto a radio wave is termed


modulation. As mentioned above the transmission from an NDB can be heard by the use of
a BFO, but the NDB has to be identified before any bearings can be used. The 400 Khz
transmission is called the Carrier Wave and the IDENT can be transmitted by starting and
stopping the CW so as to form the dots and dashes of the Morse code. This is called
KEYED CW.

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AMPLITUDE MODULATION

This method may be used in one or two ways to transmit coded messages at audio
frequencies (AF) or to radiate speech, music etc.

As the name suggests in this method the amplitude of the carrier is varied in conformation
with the amplitude of the audio modulating signal, keeping the carriers frequency constant.

With amplitude modulation, the audio frequency (AF) is impressed on the carrier frequency,
the amplitude of the carrier wave (RF) is varied by the amplitude of the audio frequency
(AF) keeping the carrier frequency constant. When transmitting complex information such
as speech, we have the problem of transmitting an extremely large number of sine waves.
Since the effect of each modulating sine wave on the radio frequency (RF) carrier is similar,
only a single sine wave modulating frequency (AF) is shown below.

Simple
Modulating
Waveform

Unmodulated
Carrier Wave

Modulated
Carrier Wave
for
Transmission

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DEPTH OF MODULATION

Depth of modulation is expressed as a percentage. It is the ratio of

Amplitude of the Audio Frequency x 100


Amplitude of the Radio Frequency

Over modulation causes distortion of the Audio Frequency. The ideal depth of modulation is
slightly less than 100 %.

FREQUENCY MODULATION

This technique of conveying information was developed in the USA after the shortcomings
of AM transmission due to external unwanted noise became apparent during the 1 st World
War. It is achieved by varying the frequency of the carrier in accordance with the change in
amplitude of the carrier of the audio, keeping the amplitude of the carrier constant.

The amplitude of the Radio Frequency is kept constant but the frequency varies as the
amplitude of the Audio Frequency varies. When the amplitude of the AF is positive the RF
frequency increases and when the amplitude of the AF is negative the RF frequency
decreases. In the receiver a frequency discriminator unit detects the frequency deviations
and converts them to useful information.

SIDEBANDS

Sidebands are additional frequencies which occur when a carrier frequency is amplitude
modulated by a lower audio frequency. The three frequencies are :-

Carrier frequency
Carrier frequency + Audio frequency
Carrier frequency - Audio frequency

Bandwidth

398 Khz 400 Khz 402 Khz


Lower Sideband Carrier frequency Upper Sideband

A carrier wave of 400 Khz is amplitude modulated by an audio frequency of 2 Khz resulting
in a lower sideband of 398 Khz and an upper sideband of 402 Khz and a bandwidth of 4
Khz. Each sideband is a mirror image of the other and carries the same information. If one
sideband is transmitted there is a saving of transmission power and a narrower bandwidth.
With SSB transmissions the carrier frequency has to be reinserted by a BFO at the receiver
to resolve the incoming signals.

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DESIGNATION OF EMISSIONS

BANDWIDTH

The bandwidth is expressed by three numerals and one letter. The letter occupies the
position of the decimal place and represents the unit of bandwidth.

300H = 300Hz 2K70 = 2.7Khz 1K15 = 1.15Khz 3M00 = 3Mhz

CLASS OF EMISSION

The three basic characteristics are indicated by three symbols

FIRST SYMBOL = TYPE OF MODULATION OF THE MAIN CARRIER

A Double Sideband
H Single Sideband full carrier
J Single Sideband suppressed carrier
P Unmodulated pulse transmission

SECOND SYMBOL = NATURE OF SIGNALS MODULATING THE MAIN CARRIER

1. Single channel containing information without the use of a modulating subcarrier


2. Single channel containing information with the use of a modulating subcarrier
3. Single channel containing analogue information (voice)
7. Two or more channels containing quantised or digital information.
8. Two or more channels containing analogue information.
9. Composite system comprising 1, 2 or 7 above, with 3 or 8 above.
X. Cases not otherwise covered.

THIRD SYMBOL = TYPE OF INFORMATION TRANSMITTED

A Telegraphy for aural reception (IDENT)


B Telegraphy for automatic reception
E Telephony including sound broadcasting
D Data transmission
W Combination of above

Examples A1A NDB A2A NDB A9W VOR A3E VHFR/T J3E SSBHFR/T

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PROPERTIES OF RADIO WAVES

1. In a given medium radio waves travel at a constant speed


2. When passing from one medium to another the velocity and direction changes
3. When uninterrupted, radio waves travel in a straight line
4. Radio waves are reflected by objects proportional to their wavelength

FREQUENCY BAND FREQUENCY WAVELENGTH USES


VLF VERY LOW 3 to 30 Khz 100 to 10 KM Loran
LF LOW 30 to 300 Khz 10 to 1 KM NDB
MF MEDIUM 300 to 3000 KHz 1000 to 100 Metres NDB
HF HIGH 3 to 30 Mhz 100 to 10 Metres HF R/T
VHF VERY HIGH 30 to 300 Mhz 10 to 1 Metres VOR ILS LOC.R/T
UHF ULTRA HIGH 300 to 3000 Mhz 100 to 10 CMS DME ILS GP GPS
SHF SUPER HIGH 3 to 30 Ghz 10 to 1 CM ASR DOPPLER
EHF EXTREMELY HIGH 30 to 300 Ghz 10 to 1 MM SURFACE RADAR

PROPAGATION OF RADIO WAVES

Radio waves fall into one or two of the following three categories. Direct waves, ground
waves and sky waves.

DIRECT WAVES

Direct waves follow a straight line path, they do not follow the Earth's curvature or are
refracted by the ionosphere

DIRECT WAVES (VHF UHF SHF EHF)

Frequencies in the VHF, UHF, SHF and EHF bands are DIRECT WAVES. Due to their high
frequencies they pass through the ionosphere and escape into space. They do not bend
with the surface of the earth thus their range is limited to 'line of sight'. There is a slight
improvement in range due to atmospheric refraction and the range of VHF in nautical miles
is calculated by :-

Range in nms = 1.25 x ( Transmitter height in feet +  Receiver height in feet)

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GROUND OR SURFACE WAVES (VLF LF MF HF)

Electromagnetic radio waves radiating from an Omni-directional aerial travel in a straight


line. Under certain conditions these waves will bend and follow the surface of the Earth
giving increased ranges. The two primary factors that cause radio waves to bend are
diffraction and attenuation.

Ground waves follow the curvature of the Earth's surface (diffraction).

DIFFRACTION AND ATTENUATION

Diffraction causes the radio waves to bend and go over obstacles in their path. Diffraction
can be considered as the obstacle creating ‘friction’ in the part of the wave close to it,
causing the wave to curve towards it as it passes it. The extent of diffraction depends on the
frequency, being maximum at very low frequencies, reducing as frequency is increased.
This downward bending is assisted by surface attenuation.

The lower part of the radio wave comes into contact with the surface and induces currents
in it, losing some of its energy and slowing down. This slowing down of the bottom gives
the radio wave a forward and downward tilt encouraging it to follow the curvature of the
Earth. Surface attenuation varies on two factors - Frequency and the type of surface. The
higher the frequency the greater the attenuation. Surface attenuation is least over water
and greatest over the Polar icecaps and deserts.

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SKY WAVES (VLF LF MF HF)

Sky waves are radio transmissions that are refracted by the ionosphere and returned to
earth. They were the principle method of long range communication before satellites.

IONOSPHERE

The ionosphere completely surrounds the earth. Ultra-violet radiation from the sun striking
the gas molecules of the ionosphere causes electrons to be discharged. These free
electrons form a refractive layer which will refract certain frequencies and they will return to
earth. Absorption of solar radiation is uneven at various levels of the atmosphere and three
separate layers (D, E and F1 may be formed).

D Layer Average altitude 75 Kms Reflects frequencies up to 500 Khz


Disappears at night

E layer Average altitude 125 Kms Reflects frequencies up to 2 Mhz


Electron density higher than the d layer
Known as the Kennelly-Heaviside layer

F layer Average altitude 225 Kms Reflects frequencies up to 30 Khz


Electron density higher than the E layer
Known as the Appleton layer
May split into F1 and F2 layers during day

As solar radiation is the cause, the maximum electron density of the ionosphere occurs at
midday in the summer. As the D layer disappears at night the apparent altitude of the
ionosphere increases at night.

ELECTRON DENSITY ALTITUDE

DAY HIGH LOW


NIGHT LOW HIGH

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IONOSPHERE ATTENUATION

Radio energy is absorbed by the ionosphere. The amount of attenuation depends on:-

1. The electron density of the layer. The greater the electron density the greater the
attenuation.
2. Penetration depth - The deeper the signal penetrates into the layer the greater the
attenuation.
3. Frequency - The lower the frequency, the greater the penetration and attenuation
and the less the diffraction, therefore lower frequencies are used at night.

CONDITIONS FOR REFRACTION - CRITICAL ANGLE

The angle at which the radio wave enters the ionosphere is one of the factors which
determines whether the radio wave will pass through the ionosphere or be refracted and
return to earth. If it strikes the layer at a small angle to the vertical it may bend, but not
enough to be returned to earth. As the angle is increased bending increases until an angle
is reached where the radio wave will return to earth - this is the first sky wave return and the
angle is called the critical angle. At greater angles there will be an uninterrupted flow of sky
waves.

CRITICAL ANGLE INCREASES WITH FREQUENCY

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DEAD SPACE

Dead space occurs mainly in the HF frequency band where the ground wave is very limited
(in the order of 80 to 100 nm) and the first sky wave return occurs at some distance from the
transmitter being refracted from the upper layers of the ionosphere. With VLF, LF and MF
the ground wave increases and the sky wave returns from the lower layers of the
ionosphere. Usually there is no dead space at these low frequencies.

9 MHz = Dotted Line 18 MHz = Solid Line

At night the ionosphere is higher and weaker than during the day, thus at night, the 18 MHz
frequency penetrates further into the ionosphere before refraction and returns from a higher
layer, the dead space increases and the first sky wave returns at a much greater distance
from the transmitter. To restore communications the day frequency (18 MHz) is halved (9
MHz), the critical angle reduces and the distance to the first sky wave return also reduces
restoring communications.

NIGHT FREQUENCIES ARE USUALLY HALF THE DAY FREQUENCIES

FADING

Due to fluctuations of the ionosphere, relative phases of skywaves arriving at the receiver
vary in random fashion affecting the amplitude of the receiver output. It is also possible to
receive two sky waves from different heights in the ionosphere. Since the distance travelled
is different, the two signals could be out of phase thus their amplitudes will cancel giving a
weak signal. If they are in phase the signal is stronger.

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WAVE SUMMARY TABLES

GROUND WAVES

FREQUENCY RANGE ATTENUATION BENDING STATIC


VLF 4000 NM + LEAST MAXIMUM SEVERE
LF 1500 NM SLIGHT HIGH REDUCING
MF 500 – 100 NM INCREASING MEDIUM REDUCING
HF 80 – 100 NM SEVERE SLIGHT REDUCING
VHF NIL NIL NIL NIL

SKY WAVES

FREQUENCY ATTENUATION REFRACTION STATIC


VLF VERY LARGE LOW SEVERE
LF LESS THAN VLF LOW REDUCING
MF LESS THAN LF MEDIUM REDUCING
HF SLIGHT HIGH REDUCING
VHF NIL NIL NIL

NOTE: Refraction changes from day to night.

VHF COMMUNICATIONS

Frequencies 118 to 136 Mhz 720 Channels 25 Khz apart

Transmission A3E Amplitude Modulated Vertically Polarised

Direct wave Range Line of Sight

Range in Nms = 1.25 x ( Transmitter height in feet  Receiver Height in feet)

VHF receivers in aircraft incorporate a SQUELCH CONTROL which disables the receiver
output when no signals are being received to prevent noise being fed to the crew
headphones.

13
HF COMMUNICATIONS

Frequencies 2 to 22 Mhz

Transmission A3E Double Sideband J3E Single Sideband (SSB) Amplitude Modulated

SELCAL SELECTIVE CALLING SYSTEM

Selcal allows a ground station to call an aircraft using HF or VHF without the flight crew
having to wear headphones continuously to monitor the station frequency. A coded signal is
transmitted from the ground station and received at the aircraft. The Selcal decoder in the
aircraft activates aural and visual alerts on the flight deck if the received code corresponds
to the aircraft Selcal code.

Each Selcal transmitted code consists of two radio frequency pulses. During each pulse
the carrier wave is 90% modulated with two tones, giving four tones per code, the
frequencies of the tones determine the code. An individual code is assigned to each aircraft
e.g. FJ-AC which is entered on the ATC flight plan.

MAXIMUM USEABLE FREQUENCY (MUF)

The MUF Maximum Useable Frequency is the highest frequency at which radio waves are
refracted and returned to earth. At higher frequencies the radio waves are not refracted and
escape into space. The MUF changes from day to day and even from hour to hour. It
depends on the state of the ionosphere and at times can drop as low as 5 MHz.

EMERGENCY FREQUENCIES

Aeronautical Emergency 121.5 Mhz 243.0 Mhz 406Khz


International Distress 500 Khz 2182 Khz
Survival Craft 8364 Khz

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CHAPTER 2

VERY HIGH FREQUENCY

VDF - DIRECTION FINDING

Major airports in South Africa have a VDF service, it is usually on the Approach frequency
and will provide radio bearings to aircraft on request. The aircraft transmits on the
appropriate frequency and direction finding equipment at the airport will sense the direction
of the incoming radio wave. The bearing will be passed to the aircraft in Q-code form.

Q CODE QTE TRUE bearing FROM the VDF station


QDR MAGNETIC bearing FROM the VDF station
QUJ TRUE track TO the VDF station
QDM MAGNETIC track TO the VDF station

QDM ± Variation QUJ

± 180º ± 180º

QDR ± Variation QTE

Take the shortest route to change one bearing to another

As the VDF operator does not know the magnetic variation at the aircraft the magnetic
variation at the station is used for magnetic bearings (QDM and QDR).

ACCURACY Class A bearings accurate to within ±2°


Class B bearings accurate to within ±5°
Class C bearings accurate to within ±10°

RANGE Line of sight

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CHAPTER 3

NON DIRECTIONAL BEACON (NDB)

AUTOMATIC DIRECTION FINDING (ADF)


FREQUENCY BAND 200 to 1750 Khz (ICAO) Upper LF and MF

EMISSION DESIGNATION A1A Long Range NDB’s and A2A Short Range NDB’s

TRANSMISSION Omni-directional Vertically Polarised

TYPE OF EMISSION A1A CW with IDENT by on/off keying of the carrier wave
ADF needle wanders during transmission of IDENT
BFO on to make IDENT audible

A2A ICAO recommended. IDENT Amplitude Modulated.


No ADF needle wander during IDENT
BFO off to hear IDENT as it is Amplitude Modulated

RANGE Varies as power available. To double the range the power must
be increased by a factor of four. Long range NDB's use A1A as
the range is greater than A2A for a given power

ADF ROTATABLE LOOP THEORY

The two vertical arms of the loop aerial intercept the vertical electrical field of an incoming
radio wave from a NDB and a voltage is induced in each arm. The induced voltage will be
proportional to the angle between the loop and the direction of the radio wave.

PLANE OF LOOP PARALLEL TO INCOMING RADIO WAVE (right sketch on next page)

When the plane of the loop is parallel to the incoming signal one vertical arm will be closer
to the NDB than the other. There will be a phase difference between the signals arriving in
the two arms. The current flow in the two arms will be in opposition and difference between
the two will be fed to the receiver. The distance between the two vertical members of the
loop is maximum therefore the phase difference and current flow will also be maximum.
This maximum position is not clearly defined and errors can result.

16
PLANE OF LOOP PERPENDICULAR TO INCOMING RADIO WAVE (LEFT SKETCH)

When the plane of the loop is perpendicular to the incoming signal the two vertical arms of
the loop will be the same distance from the NDB, thus the incoming signal will arrive at both
arms at the same instant and at the same phase and the resultant current flow is nil. The
zero position is clearly defined and is far more accurate than the maximum position and is
used for bearing measurement. However there is a 180 ambiguity.

180 AMBIGUITY

The 180 ambiguity is resolved by a sense aerial which is omni-directional and its polar
diagram is a circle. The polar diagram of the loop aerial is a figure of eight. The radius of
the sense aerial polar diagram is electronically adjusted to fit the figure of eight polar
diagram. When the two fields are mixed the resultant polar diagram is a CARDIOID and
has only one null resolving the 180 problem.

ADF AERIALS

LOOP AERIAL ONLY Figure of eight polar diagram, -180 ambiguity

SENSE AERIAL ONLY Omni-directional Circular polar diagram


USED FOR TUNING NDB

LOOP + SENSE CARDIOID polar diagram Resolves 180 ambiguity of Loop


USED FOR BEARINGS

17
FIXED LOOP THEORY

With the modern ADF the loop antenna consists of an orthogonal pair of coils wound on a
single ferrite core mounted in the horizontal plane which intercepts the magnetic (H)
component of an electro-magnetic radio wave from a NDB. One coil is aligned with the fore
and aft axis of the aircraft and the other with the athwartships axis. The radio wave imparts
magnetism to the ferrite core which in turn induces a current in each coil which depends on
the direction of the magnetic field or the direction of the incoming radio wave. The induced
currents in the coils are transmitted to two starter coils of a goniometer where the magnetic
field detected by the loop will be recreated. If the rotor or search coil is turned through 360°
there will be two maximum and two null positions exactly as in the rotating loop (a figure of
eight polar diagram). The output from a sense aerial is combined with the figure of eight
polar diagram to give a cardioid. A motor drives the rotor coil and the ADF needle to the null
position of the cardioid thus the ADF relative bearing is shown at all times.

ADF ERRORS

Night Effect

18
During the day sky waves from NDB transmissions are absorbed or fully attenuated by the
D layer of the ionosphere, thus there are no sky waves and no error by day. At night the D
layer disappears and NDB transmissions are refracted by the E layer of the ionosphere.
\
An aircraft may receive both ground and sky waves, the sky waves entering the horizontal
members of the loop. The ground and sky waves mix and give a false null. As the sky
wave is unstable, the null will vary rapidly and the ADF needle will oscillate and become
difficult to determine an accurate bearing. If the aircraft is receiving sky waves only, the null
may be sharp, but the bearing incorrect as the reflecting plane of the ionosphere may not be
parallel to the earth's surface.

Night effect may be minimised by:-

1. Using a lower frequency NDB. Lower frequencies have stronger ground


waves.
2. Avoid operation at dusk and dawn, the times of greatest ionospheric
instability.
3. Use a high powered NDB.
4. Use NDB's near the aircraft.

Quadrantal Error

Incoming radio waves are reflected by the fuselage and wings of an aircraft. Signals arriving
from the nose, tail, 090ْ relative and 270° relative are not affected. Signals from the
quadrantal points (045°, 135°, 225° and 315° relative) can give large errors. Many years
ago aircraft ADF installations were calibrated by an airborne swing, similar to a compass
swing and a quadrantal correction card was prepared. With modern techniques the aircraft
is mapped electronically and corrections are made to the ADF receiver.

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Terrain Or Mountain Error

High ground may reflect a NDB transmission resulting in multi-path reception. The ADF
needle will indicate the mean bearing between the two signals, thus an error. The error can
be minimised by climbing.

Static Interference

Static can affect ADF readings. Operation in the vicinity of thunderstorms can produce
large errors, even to the extent of the ADF pointing to the Cb instead of the NDB.
Precipitation static caused by flying in rain causes errors.

Coastal Refraction

As a radio wave passes from land to sea its velocity increases and the radio wave bends
towards the medium with the higher density (land). The error is zero if the radio wave
crosses the coast at 90° and increases as the angle becomes more acute.

A running fix from a NDB or a fix from three NDB's shown above will give a position towards
the coast from the correct position.

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Coastal refraction may be minimised by :-

1. Use a NDB near the coast rather than inland.


2. Use signals that cross the coast at 90"
3. Flying at higher altitudes will reduce the error.

Question 1

The coast line lies in a North/South direction. An aircraft over the sea receives an ADF
bearing of 225° Relative. The true bearing of the aircraft from the NDB is :-

(a) Greater than 045°


(b) 045°
(c) less than 045°

Station Interference

If two NDBs are on similar frequencies large errors may result. The ADF needle will take up
a position which is the resultant of the field strengths of the two transmissions.

21
FACTORS AFFECTING RANGE

Transmission Power

The greater the power output the greater the range. To double the range the power must be
increased by a factor of four.

Frequency

The lower the frequency the greater the ground wave and thus the range.

Terrain

Due to the better conductivity of the sea longer ranges are obtained over water than over
land.

Type Of Emission

For a given transmission power the A1A NDB will give a greater range than the A2A NDB as
the former does not require power to transmit the ident. Long range NDB's are normally of
the AIA type.

ADF BEARINGS

ADF bearings are presented to the pilot by either a RELATIVE BEARING INDICATOR (RBI)
or by a RADIO MAGNETIC INDICATOR (RMI).

Relative Bearing Indicator (RBI)

ADF bearings are measured clockwise from the fore and aft axis of the aircraft and are
termed RELATIVE BEARINGS, that is relative to the aircraft's fore and aft axis.

22
Tracking Inbound To A NDB Or Tracking Outbound From A NDB (with a RBI)

With zero drift maintain ADF 360 Relative INBOUND to the NDB
With zero drift maintain ADF 180 Relative OUTBOUND from the NDB

Question

An aircraft is maintaining track outbound from a NDB with a constant relative bearing of
185°. To return to the NDB the relative bearing to maintain is :-

Answer

355˚ Relative.

23
PLOTTING ADF BEARINGS

ADF Relative bearings must be converted into True Bearings (QTE) before they can be
plotted on a chart.

RELATIVE BEARING + TRUE HEADING = QUJ ±180° = QTE

MAGNETIC VARIATION AT THE AIRCRAFT IS ALWAYS USED WITH ADF BEARINGS

Q CODE QTE TRUE bearing FROM the NDB


QDR MAGNETIC bearing FROM the NDB
QUJ TRUE track TO the NDB
QDM MAGNETIC track TO the NDB

QDM ± Variation QUJ

±180° ±180°

QDR ± Variation QTE

Take the shortest route to change one bearing to another

ADF bearing 095° Relative ADF bearing 200° Relative


Heading(T) + 057° Heading (T) 318°
QUJ 152° (T) TO NDB QUJ 518°
± 180° Subtract 360°
QTE 332°(T) FROM NDB QUJ 158° (T) TO NDB
± 180°
QTE 338° (T) FROM NDB

Question

An aircraft heading 157(T), Variation 15W has a relative bearing of 193 from NDB CD.
The QDM to NDB CD is :-

RELATIVE BEARING + MAGNETIC HEADING = QDM (MAGNETIC TRACK TO THE


NDB)

Answer

193° Relative + Heading 172°(M) = QDM 005°

24
RADIO MAGNETIC INDICATOR (RMI)

The RMI is a remote gyro compass on which radio bearings (both ADF and VOR) are
shown. As it is a compass, the heading index is heading compass and it may suffer from
deviation, for which a correction must be made to ADF bearings. The sharp end of the
pointers are referred to as RMI readings or QDM. The opposite or blunt end of the needle
will be a QDR.

The RMI usually has two needles for aircraft fitted with twin ADF receivers. VOR Radials or
bearings can also be shown, or one needle tuned at a NDB and the other a VOR.

AIRCRAFT FLYING ABEAM OF A NDB (1 in 60 Rule)

If an aircraft is flying abeam of a NDB a simple calculation will give the approximate
distance to the NDB or the time to fly to the NDB.

TIME TO THE NDB = 60 x minutes flown between bearings


degrees of bearing change

DISTANCE TO THE NDB = TAS or GS x minutes flown between bearings


degrees of bearing change

Example: 0900 Z NDB RM bears 055° Relative TAS 180 Kts


0915 Z NDB RM bears 125° Relative

Time to RM = 60 x 15 = 13 minutes Distance to RM = 180 x 15 = 38.6nm


70 70

25
INTERCEPTING A QDM INBOUND TO A NDB

These questions can also be found at the end of the chapter (24,25,26)

An aircraft heading 040 (M) has an ADF reading of 060 Relative.


The heading to steer to intercept the 120 track inbound to the NDB at 50 is:-

(a) 050(M)
(b) 060(M)
(c) 070(M)

The alteration of heading required to intercept the 120° track inbound to the NDB at 50° is:-

(a) 20° Right


(b) 30° Right
(c) 40° Right

The relative bearing of the NDB that confirms track interception is :-

(a) 050° Relative


(b) 060° Relative
(c) 080° Relative

METHOD

1. Calculate the bearing of the aircraft from the NDB.


2. Draw the required track inbound to the NDB and the intercept angle.
3. Position the aircraft at the moment of interception
4. Answer question

Heading 040 + ADF 060 Relative = QDM 100 + 180 = QDR 280

26
CHAPTER 4

VOR - VERY HIGH FREQUENCY OMNIRANGE


FREQUENCY BAND 108MHz to 117.95MHz VHF

EMISSION DESIGNATION A9W

TRANSMISSION Omnidirectional Horizontally Polarised

The VOR is the primary ICAO navigation facility for civil aviation. It is a VHF facility and
eliminates atmospheric static interference and other errors of the NDB/ADF.

PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION

VOR operation is based on the principle that the phase difference between two AC voltages
may be used to determine the direction of an aircraft from a transmitter. Imagine two light
signals at the same position. The first is an omnidirectional flashing white light which can be
seen by all aircraft and flashes once in 60 seconds. It is the reference signal. The second
is a narrow red beam which rotates through 360° in 60 seconds. It is the: directional signal.
When the red directional light passes through magnetic north the white reference light
flashes, the two lights are in phase and the bearing is 360°. At any other position the
bearing is determined by the time interval between seeing the flashing white reference light
and the red rotating directional light. If the time difference is 20 seconds the bearing is 120°
and if the time difference is 40 seconds the bearing is 240°. The VOR transmitter uses the
same principle, and transmits carrier wave modulated with a reference phase signal (the
white light) and a variable phase signal (the red light). The phase difference between the
two signals determines the aircraft's bearing or radial (the time interval between the white
and red lights).

REFERENCE SIGNAL

The reference signal is an omni-directional CW transmission on the stations allocated


frequency. It carries a 9960 Hz sub-carrier frequency modulated at 30 Hz. The polar
diagram is a circle and all aircraft at the same distance from the VOR will receive the signal
at the same time and phase. The reference signal is the datum from which to measure the
phase difference between it and the directional signal.

DIRECTIONAL OR VARIABLE SIGNAL

Also transmitted on the stations allocated frequency. It is a rotating signal at 1800 RPM or
30 revolutions per second which gives an apparent amplitude modulation of 30 Hz. The
signal rises to a maximum and falls to zero 30 times a second. The polar diagram is that of
a rotating figure, of eight. When combined with the circular polar diagram of the reference
signal the result is rotating cardioid or limacon.

27
CALIBRATION

The VOR is calibrated so that zero phase difference occurs on magnetic north. Phase
difference equals magnetic bearing out (QDR) or radial.

VOR STATION MAGNETIC VARIATION USED WITH ALL BEARINGS OR RADIALS

FREQUENCIES 108 Mhz to


117.95 Mhz

VHF 108 Mhz to TVOR Even Decimals (108.2 108.25)


112 Mhz ILS Odd Decimals (108.1 108.15)

112 Mhz to En- Route Navigational VOR Range


117.95 Mhz 200 nm

PRINCIPLE Bearing determination by phase comparison

28
Transmission horizontally polarised - not affected by static

REFERENCE SIGNAL 9960 Hz sub carrier FM at 30 Hz

VARIABLE SIGNAL Rotating signal 1800 RPM Apparent AM at 30Hz

COMBINED SIGNAL Limacon


(Similar to NDB cardioid but a minimum instead of a nil
position)

TRANSMISSION POWER & RANGE

Terminal VOR (TVOR) Power 50 Watts Range 100nm


Navigational VOR Power 200 Watts Range 200nm

Range in = 1.25  VOR Height in feet AMSL + Aircraft Altitude in feet


Nautical Miles

ACCURACY TRANSMITTER ± 1° RECEIVER ± 3° TOTAL ± 4°

VOR MONITOR

All VOR transmissions are monitored for accuracy. Accuracy of VOR radials at the
transmitter are better than 1°. If the transmission error is greater than 1° the monitor will
remove the IDENT or the navigation components.

IDENT 3 letter morse code at least once every 10 seconds

IDENT WITHDRAWN When VOR undergoing maintenance or bearing error in


excess of 1°

VOT (TEST VOR)

At certain airports a test VOR is available for testing the aircraft's VOR receivers during pre-
flight checks. They transmit zero phase difference so that regardless of the aircraft's position
relative to the VOR the indication in the aircraft will be radial 360°. If a CDI is used to check
the equipment the indications will be :

Left/Right needle central FROM OBS 356 to 004 or TO OBS 176 to 184
VOR receivers usually have a self test circuit independent of a VOT. During a self test the
RMI needle should indicate radial 360° or 180° RMI reading.

VOR ERRORS

Site Error

Caused by buildings, obstacles, trees or uneven ground in the vicinity of the transmitter.

Propagation Error

29
The signals leave the transmitter with an accuracy better than 1° but they may be affected
by uneven terrain enroute to the aircraft (Scalloping).

Interference Error

Interference from a second VOR on the same frequency may produce errors for high flying
aircraft. If a VOR is at sea level, an aircraft at FL 250 should receive bearings at 198 nm. A
second VOR on the same frequency should not be positioned closer than 198 nm x 2 + 100
nm = 496 nm from the first VOR.

AIRCRAFT EQUIPMENT ERROR

Accuracy of VOR radials at the transmitter is better than 1°. Errors in the aircraft equipment
should not exceed 3° giving a maximum error of 4°. If the accuracy of VOR readings in an
aircraft exceed 4° IFR flights should not be attempted. If there is a twin VOR installation in
an aircraft and both VOR receivers are tuned to the same VOR the spread between the two
readings should not exceed 6°. Fluctuations of 6° may occur at certain propeller or
helicopter rotor RPM.

CONE OF AMBIGUITY OR CONFUSION

A VOR transmits in the horizontal plane but the signals radiate up to 70° in elevation.
Overhead the VOR weak erratic signals may be received and the indicators will oscillate
and the bearings are unreliable.

DOPPLER VOR

VOR transmitter aerials should be sited on flat terrain to minimise site errors. If such a site is
not available, a complex aerial system may be employed to transmit the VOR signal. This
type of station is known as a Doppler VOR (DVOR) beacon and produces a signal which is
reasonably free of site errors even when the transmitter is sited in hilly terrain.

The way in which the bearing signal is produced is quite different from conventional VOR,
the received signals are indistinguishable from each other and the airborne receiver will
operate on either with equal facility. In Doppler VOR the reference signal is amplitude
modulated at 30Hz, whilst the bearing signal is frequency modulated at 30Hz. Because this
is the reverse of CVOR, the bearing (or variable) modulation is made to lead the reference
signal by a phase angle equal to the aircraft magnetic bearing FROM the VOR ground
station.

30
COURSE DEVIATION INDICATOR (CDI)

Course is the American term for Track. The CDI is a command instrument. It gives steering
commands to the pilot to maintain a selected course/track/radial TO or FROM the VOR.

OMNI BEARING SELECTOR (OBS)

By turning the OBS the desired course/track is selected. This may appear in a window or
under an index.

COURSE DEVIATION NEEDLE

The LEFT/RIGHT needle moves laterally across the dial. The needle is central when the
aircraft is on the selected radial or its reciprocal. Full needle deflection from the centre (left
or right) indicates that the aircraft is 10˚ or more from the selected radial or its reciprocal.

TO/FROM INDICATOR

The TO/FROM indicator shows whether the selected course will take the aircraft TO or
FROM the VOR. IT DOES NOT INDICATE WHETHER THE AIRCRAFT IS HEADING TO or
FROM THE VOR.

ORIENTATION

Rotate the OBS knob until the Left/Right deviation needle is central. Assuming the needle
centres with 090 and FROM indicated. This means the aircraft is on the 090 Radial, all

31
three aircraft shown on the right side of the sketch below will have the same indication. The
CDI presentation is totally independent of aircraft heading.

Assuming the needle centres with 090 and TO indicated. This shows that the aircraft is on
the reciprocal of the OBS 090 SETTING that is Radial 270. All three aircraft shown on the
left of the sketch will have the same indication.

1. Draw the OBS SETTING (090) given in a question.


2. Label the reciprocal of the OBS setting (Radial 270) and the two Radials at 90°.
3.
P

osition 4 aircraft, one in each quadrant, with the aircraft heading similar to the OBS
setting.
4. Determine whether the aircraft are flying TO or FROM the VOR.

5. Determine whether the aircraft have to FLY RIGHT or FLY LEFT to intercept the 090
Radial.
6. OUTBOUND or the 270 Radial INBOUND.

The TO or FROM indication and the LEFT / RIGHT needle displacement are correct for any
aircraft in each quadrant REGARDLESS OF THE AIRCRAFT HEADING.

RMI INDICATIONS

VOR information can be presented on the RMI in a similar manner to ADF bearings.

ADF RMI READING = QDM

APPLY AIRCRAFT VARIATION AND COMPASS DEVIATION

The ADF measures Relative bearings which are passed to the RMI. If the bearing is 045
relative the ADF RMI needle is positioned 45 clockwise from the heading index. Thus
aircraft variation and deviation must be applied.

32
VOR APPLY VOR STATION VARIATION ONLY

The RMI cannot accept VOR Radials from the VOR receiver, only Relative bearings.
Therefore Radials have to be changed into Relative bearings by a differential synchro.

Assume that an aircraft is on Radial 090, heading 155(C), deviation 5W, heading 150(M)

If RELATIVE BEARING + AIRCRAFT MAGNETIC HEADING = QDM


Then RELATIVE BEARING = QDM - AIRCRAFT MAGNETIC HEADING

Case 1 (0° Dev) Case 2, (5°W Dev)

Radial 090 QDR 090 QDR 090


QDM 270 QDM 270
Minus aircraft heading 150 (M) 155 (C)
Relative bearing 120 115
RMI pointer positioned clockwise from datum +150 (M) +155 (C)
RMI reading (QDM) 270 270

In case 2 aircraft heading 155 (C) which includes deviation has been subtracted from the
QDM and then added to the relative bearing to give the RMI reading, thus deviation cancels
and is not applied.

33
CHAPTER 5

ILS INSTRUMENT LANDING SYSTEM


FREQUENCY BAND 108 to 111.95 MHz VHF

EMISSION DESINGATION A8W

An ILS installation at an airfield consists of the following three components :-

LOCALISER TRANSMITTER GLIDE SLOPE TRANSMITTER MARKER BEACONS

Localiser Transmitter (VHF)

Provides guidance in azimuth and is located about 300 metres from the upwind end of the
runway in line with the runway centreline. It transmits a horizontally polarised carrier wave
on the stations allocated frequency. The carrier wave is modulated by two tones of 90 Hz
and 150 Hz.

If the aircraft is to the left of the extended centre line of the runway during an approach it will
be in an area (Yellow sector) where the 90Hz modulation predominates and will have a fly
right command. If the aircraft is to the right of the extended runway centre line it will be in
an area (Blue sector) where the 150 Hz modulation predominates and will have a fly left
command. The receiver in an aircraft on the extended centre line will receive the carrier
modulated to a depth of 20% by both the 90 Hz and 150 Hz notes. Deviation from the
centre line is given in DDM (Difference in Depth of Modulation) which controls the
Left/Right vertical command bar of the ILS indicator.

Glide Slope Transmitter (UHF)

The Glide Slope or Glide Path transmitter is located about 150 metres to the left or right of
the runway centre line and 300 metres upwind from the landing threshold. The carrier wave
is transmitted in the vertical plane and is modulated by a lower lobe of 150 Hz and an upper
lobe of 90 Hz. The line along which the two modulations are equal in depth is the centre line
of the glide slope.

34
For an aircraft below the glide slope the 150 Hz note will predominate and a fly up
command will be shown. For an aircraft above the glide slope the 90 Hz note will
predominate and a fly down command will be shown. An aircraft on the glide slope will
receive equal amounts of the 90 Hz and 150 Hz notes and the horizontal command bar will
be central.

Marker Beacons

Two or three marker beacons are positioned along the approach path provide range to
runway threshold check points.

FREQUENCIES

LOCALISER VHF 108.1 to 111.95 Mhz (Odd-decimals)


GLIDE SLOPE UHF 329.3 to 335 Mhz

The Localiser and Glide Slope are frequency paired. Each localiser frequency has a glide
path frequency allocated to it.

Johannesburg Intl. RWY 03L LOC 110.3 Mhz GP 335.0 Mhz


RWY 03R LOC 109.1 Mhz GP 331.4 Mhz

The pilot selects the localiser frequency only, the glide path receiver automatically selects
the appropriate glide path frequency.

LOCALISER COVERAGE 25 nm 10 either side of the localiser centre line


17 nm 35 either side of the localiser centre line

GLIDE PATH COVERAGE 8 either side of the centre line in azimuth to 10 nm


0.45 x GP angle to 1.75 x GP angle in elevation

ACCURACY Checked for accuracy up to 18 nm (ICAO)

PROTECTION Protected from interference up to 25 nm and 6250 ft.

IDENT Transmitted every 10 seconds on the localiser


frequency only

35
ILS REFERENCE DATUM

The ILS reference datum is a point at a specified height (usually 50 feet or 15 metres)
located vertically above the intersection of the runway centre line and the ILS landing
threshold through which the downward extended path portion of the ILS glide path extends.

ILS FACILITY PERFORMANCE CATEGORIES (ILS Ground Installation)

CAT 1 Accurate guidance down to 200 feet above the ILS reference point
CAT 2 Accurate guidance down to 50 feet above the ILS reference point
CAT 3 Accurate guidance down to and along the surface of the runway

ILS OPERATIONAL APPROACH CATEGORIES (Aircraft and Crew)

CAT 1 Decision Height 200 feet RVR 550 metres VIS 800 metres

CAT 2 Decision Height 100 feet RVR 350 metres

CAT 3a No Decision Height RVR 200 metres

ILS MONITOR

Both localiser and glide path transmissions are automatically monitored by equipment
located in the guaranteed reception area. The monitor will provide a warning in any one of
the following circumstances:

1. A localiser shift of more than 35 feet from the centre line.


2. A glide slope angle change of more than 0.075 x basic glide path angle
(0.075 x 3° =0.225°)
3. A reduction in power output of 50% or more of the localiser or glide path transmitters.
ILS information may be presented on the VOR indicator. The vertical LEFT/RIGHT needle

operates in a similar manner to the VOR and gives commands to intercept and maintain the
localiser centre line. if an ILS localiser frequency is selected the VOR OBS setting control
becomes inoperative. If the aircraft is on the localiser centre line the needle will be central
regardless of the OBS setting. The horizontal needle gives commands to intercept and
maintain the glide path. The centre of the instrument is the aircraft and the needles give the
commands. In the above sketch the command is fly up and left.

Full Scale Deflection for the localiser is 2.5 .

36
GLIDE PATH

Full Scale Deflection 0.7

MAXIMUM SAFE DEFLECTION 0. 35 FLY UP or 2. 5 DOTS on a 5 DOT INDICATOR

After passing the Outer Marker, half full scale fly up indication is considered to be the
maximum safe deviation below the glide path. At this indication an immediate climb must be
initiated and the approach abandoned.

WARNING FLAGS

Warning flags operate if a malfunction of the ILS ground installation or the aircraft
equipment occurs. They also operate if the aircraft is out of range.

MARKER BEACONS

Marker beacons, transmitting on 75 Mhz, are installed along the approach path centre line.
They radiate a fan pattern up to 3000 feet and their distance from the runway threshold is
published, also the aircraft height overhead the marker if on the glide path.

MARKER CODING LIGHT DISTANCE MODULATION


OUTER (OM) 2 dashes/sec BLUE ±4 nm 400 Hz
MIDDLE (MM) Alternate dot dash AMBER ±3500 feet 1300 Hz
INNER (IM) 6 dots/sec White 250 - 1500 feet 3000 Hz

37
38
LOCATOR BEACONS

Low powered NDB's are often sited at the middle and inner markers.

FALSE GLIDE PATHS

False glide paths may be produced above the true glide path. The first of these is
encountered at about 6°. They are not considered a danger to the aircraft for the following
reasons:

1. The glide path is intercepted from below.


2. If an aircraft is descending on a false glide path of 6° its rate of descent would be
excessive.
3. The aircraft height crossing the marker beacons on the glide path is published and
cross checked.
4. False glide paths signals are weak and warning flags should operate.

ILS BACK BEAM

Some ILS installations radiate a Back Beam. When an aircraft passes the localiser
transmitter during a missed approach, signals will be received to enable the aircraft to
maintain the extended centre line. If the aircraft strays to the left, a fly right command will
be indicated (needle right of centre). If the aircraft strays to the right, a fly left command will
be indicated (needle left of centre).

ILS BACK BEAM APPROACH

If runway 09 has an ILS, an approach may be made to runway 27 using the back beam of
runway 09. The back beam is less accurate than a front beam and there are no marker
beacons or glide path, only localiser signals. The Left/Right needle commands do not apply,
if the needle is to the left (indicating fly left on the front beam) then, as the needle sense is
reversed, the aircraft must fly right.

39
RATE OF DESCENT

The 1 in 60 rule may be used to calculate the rate of descent on the glide path.

RATE OF DESCENT = GLIDE PATH ANGLE x GROUNDSPEED x 100


60

For example:

An aircraft is inbound on a 3˚ ILS at a groundspeed of 140 knots. Using the 1:60 rule, what
should the rate of descent be?

Working: 3˚ x 140 knots x 100


60

Answer: 700 feet per minute.

40
CHAPTER 6

RADAR THEORY
RADAR is the transmission of radio energy in short bursts or pulses. Radar frequencies are
VHF and higher.

TIME & SPEED

1 second = 1000 milli-seconds (ms)


1 second = 1 000 000 micro-seconds (s)
1 second = 1 000 000 000 nano-seconds (ns)

A radar pulse travels at 300 000 000 metres per second or 162 000 nm per second

A radar pulse travels at 300 metres per micro-second (s)


A radar pulse travels at 0.162 nm per micro-second (s)

PULSE RECURRENCE PERIOD (PRP)

The distance between the transmission of two pulses in time.


PRP 2000 s. The second pulse is transmitted 2000 s after the first pulse.

41
PULSE RECURRENCE FREQUENCY (PRF)

The number of pulses transmitted per second. 500 pps (pulses per second)

PULSE WIDTH

The length of the pulse in time, 2 s x 300 metres per s = 600 metres pulse length

PRIMARY RADAR

1 TRANSMITTER 1 RECEIVER 1 FREQUENCY

A radar pulse is transmitted and is reflected by a target and returns to its point of
transmission. The direction from which it returns can be measured. The time taken for its
journey out and return is measured and knowing the speed of propagation the range of the
target can be calculated. Thus the position of the target is known.

SECONDARY RADAR

2 TRANSMITTERS 2 RECEIVERS 2 FREQUENCIES

A radar pulse is transmitted by station A and received by station B. Station B replies by


transmitting a second pulse on a second frequency which is received by station A. The
bearing and distance of station B from station A can be measured or calculated similar to
primary radar.

PRIMARY RADAR RANGE

The range of primary radar depends on the power output. As primary radar is an out and
return trip, to double the range the power must be increased by a factor of 16. Other
important factors which govern range are Pulse Recurrence Frequency, Pulse Recurrence
Period and Pulse Width.

PULSE RECURRENCE FREQUENCY (PRF) DETERMINES MAXIMUM RANGE

if the PRF is 500 pps (pulses per second) then PRP = 1 = 0.002 sec = 2000s
PRF 500

The pulse has 2000 s to travel out and return before the next pulse is transmitted

Distance = Speed x Time = 0.162 nm/s x 2000 s = 162 nm maximum range


2 2

42
PULSE WIDTH DETERMINES MINIMUM RANGE

Minimum range is important in the design of airport surveillance radar.

Pulse width 3 s x 300 metres per s = 900 metres pulse length

If a target is 450 metres from the transmitter, the first cycle of the returning pulse or echo
would be received as the last cycle of the transmitted pulse leaves the transmitter. Echoes
from targets closer than 450 metres would not be received as the transmitter is still
transmitting. To receive echoes from targets closer than 450 metres the pulse width would
have to be reduced.

CATHODE RAY TUBE (CRT)

The Cathode Ray Tube produces electrons in the form of a stream from a cathode. The
stream of electrons can be controlled in such a way that radar derived information and other
data can be displayed on the CRT screen. To give a clear and accurate presentation the
electron stream must be focused into a narrow beam. This beam will appear as a dot on the
screen of the tube. The dot can be moved rapid by actuating the X and Y deflection plates.
There is sufficient afterglow to allow the most recent position of the dot to persist for a short
time, so instead of seeing a dot on the screen, a line or "timebase" is seen. The time base
can be linear (vertical of horizontal), radiating from the centre to the edge of the screen or
circular.

CATHODE

The cathode is a small cylinder coated with barium oxide. When heated the barium oxide
emits electrons.

GRID

The grid is cylindrical in shape and has a hole in the centre through which the beam of
electrons passes. Voltages applied to the grid, which is always negative with respect to the
cathode, control the number of electrons passing through it and hence the brilliance of the
display. The grid is the brilliance control.

43
ANODES

The first and third anodes have a positive potential which attracts the electrons and
accelerates the electron beam towards the screen. As the beam passes through the centre
of the first anode the beam tends to diverge. This tendency to diverge is controlled by the
second anode, and by varying its negative potential the electrons are focused into a narrow
beam. The second anode is the focusing control.

X and Y DEFLECTOR PLATES

The Y plates control the beam in the vertical and the X plates in the horizontal. To produce a
horizontal linear timebase, initially the left X plate would be positive and the right X plate
negative. This will position the beam at the left hand side of the screen. The potential of
both plates is rapidly reversed, the left plate becoming negative and the right plate positive.
The beam moves rapidly across the screen giving a horizontal time base. By repeating this
process many times a second a steady time base appears on the screen. A radar pulse
travels at 162 000 nm per second or 162 nm in 1000 s If the electron beam moves across
the screen in 1000 s the length of the time base is 162 nm. A returning echo from a target
is fed to the Y plates and a blip will appear and the range is measured against a suitable
scale.

GRAPHITE COATING

The inner wall of the tube is coated with graphite which is connected to the third anode. This
serves to attract slow moving secondary electrons emitted from the screen as a result of the
impact of the beam. Otherwise they would tend to build up a negative charge sufficiently
strong to repel the beam.

GAIN CONTROL

Interference from other electrical equipment or atmospheric static may appear on the
screen. These tiny signals travel to the CRT via the Y plates and show up on the screen as
small blips in the vertical. They appear as "grass" hence their name. They appear when
the gain control is increased and indicate that the CRT is serviceable, reduce the gain and
they should disappear.

44
CHAPTER 7

DISTANCE MEASURING EQUIPMENT (DME)


FREQUENCY BAND 962 MHz to 1213 MHz UHF

EMISSION DESIGNATION P0N

DME is secondary radar, that is 2 transmitters, 2 receivers and 2 frequencies.

AIRCRAFT EQUIPMENT

An interrogator, which is a combined transmitter and receiver.

An indicator

An omnidirectional blade aerial, able to receive vertically polarised signals.

GROUND EQUIPMENT - TRANSPONDER

A transmitter, receiver and aerial system. The word transponder means that it is a
transmitter which responds.

PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION

An aircraft transmits an interrogation pulse which is received by the DME. The DME
transponder will reply to the interrogation pulse received from the aircraft and will transmit a
reply pulse. Range is calculated from the time interval between the aircraft transmitting a
pulse and receiving the reply. As the DME transponder replies to every interrogation by all
aircraft, each aircraft must isolate the reply pulse to its own interrogation and reject reply
pulses to interrogations by other aircraft.

45
RANDOM PRF

The aircraft transmits pairs of pulses 12 s apart. The time between the pairs of pulses is
varied at random

40000s 40150s 39650s 38950s 40820s 39275s

At the instant that a pair of pulses is transmitted the receiver starts timing and commences a
search for the transponder replies. The transponder replies to the interrogations by
transmitting pairs of pulses on a frequency 63 Mhz removed from the interrogation
frequency. The aircraft's receiver searches for pairs of pulses that match the time intervals
of its own transmitted pairs of pulses, its; own random PRF, and rejects pulses meant for
other aircraft. Once the aircraft's unique random PRF has been recognized the receiver
"locks on" and tracking commences and slant range to the DME is indicated.

During the search period the aircraft's interrogator transmits at a high rate of 150 pairs of
pulses per second. If "lock on" is not achieved in 100 seconds (15 000 pairs of pulses) the
PRF is lowered to 60 pairs of pulses per second until "lock on". At "lock on" the
transmission rate is reduced further to 25 - 30 pairs of pulses per second.

MEMORY

If the signals are lost, memory circuits are activated, which will continue to display range
information at the last known rate of change of range. After 10 seconds of memory
operation the equipment will revert to the search mode.

AUTOMATIC STANDBY

The aircraft VOR and DME equipment is frequency paired (similar to ILS Localiser and
Glide Path). A VOR frequency is selected and the appropriate DME frequency is
automatically selected and the DME starts interrogating. It is pointless for the DME to
transmit if the VOR has no DME or the aircraft is out of range. The automatic standby
circuits prevent the interrogator operating until it receives reply pulses from the transponder
meant for other aircraft, or "squitter or filler pulses" which are transmitted at random by the
DME.

FREQUENCIES UHF 962 Mhz to 1213 Mhz

The DME frequency band is divided into a low band and an upper band.

LOW BAND CHANNELS 1 to 63

Aircraft Interrogator Ground Transponder


1025 MHz to 1087 Mhz Minus 63 MHz 962 MHz to 1024 MHz

HIGH BAND CHANNELS 64 to 126

Aircraft Interrogator Ground Transponder


1088 MHz to 1150 Mhz Plus 63 MHz 1151 MHz to 1213 Mhz

46
As the ground transponder reply frequency is 63 Mhz different from the interrogation
frequency the aircraft receiver will not accept replies to its interrogation that are reflected
from the ground .

The 126 Channels listed above are X channels and there is 12 s spacing between the two
pulses of the interrogation and transponder pulses. There are a further 126 Y channels but
the spacing between the two interrogation and transponder pulses is 36s.

DME BEACON SATURATION

The DME transponder can only transmit 2700 pairs of pulses per second. Assuming the
average transmission rate of an interrogator is ,5 pairs of pulses per second, then the DME
can reply to 100 aircraft. This is the saturation level. If more than 100 aircraft interrogate a
DME it is said to be saturated and the DME receiver gain is lowered and the transponder
will ignore the weakest interrogations, that is aircraft at the greatest range.

VOR/ DME FREQUENCY PAIRING

The aircraft VOR and DME equipment is frequency paired (similar to ILS Localiser and
Glide Path). A VOR frequency is selected and the appropriate DME frequency is
automatically selected and the DME starts interrogating.

CO-LOCATED VOR / DME

The aerials are a maximum of 100 feet apart and the facilities are used in terminal areas for
approach purposes. Both facilities have the same IDENT (VOR JSV / DME JSV) . A VOR
co-located with a TACAN is known as a VORTAC.

ASSOCIATED VOR / DME

En route navigational VOR/DME and the aerials are not more than 2000 feet apart. Both
facilities have the same IDENT (VOR CPL / DME CPL).

VOR / DME SERVING THE SAME LOCATION

VOR and DME transmitters that are more than 2000 feet apart but serve the same area.
They are identified by their different IDENT. The first two letters will be the same but the
third letter of one facility will be a Z (VOR STN / DME STZ).

Where VOR and DME stations are at entirely different locations their IDENT will be
completely different and they are not to used in conjunction. Where a VOR is frequency
paired with a military TACAN the system is called a VORTAC.

VOR/ DME IDENT

The IDENT is transmitted 4 times every 30 seconds.


The VOR will transmit 3 times in 30 seconds and the DME once.

47
ACCURACY and ERRORS

DME accuracy is better than 0.5 nm and there are no errors.

RANGE

Maximum range of DME is 200 nm, but being UHF it is line of sight and will depend on
aircraft altitude.

The range is slant range, an aircraft overhead a DME at 18 000 feet will have a range of
3 nm.

To calculate ground range :-

SLANT RANGE2 = GROUND RANGE2 + AIRCRAFT ALTITUDE in NAUTICAL MILES2

RANGE CALCULATIONS

Question 1

An aircraft receives a reply a pulse from a DME 1730s after transmission of the
interrogation pulse. The DME has a fixed delay of 50s. The range of the aircraft from the
DME station is:-

SPEED x TIME 0.162 nm/s x (1730/s - 50/s)


DISTANCE = 2 = 2 = 136 nm

Question 2

A DME with a fixed delay of 50s receives an interrogation pulse from an aircraft 425s
after transmission. The slant range of the aircraft From the DME station is :-

DISTANCE = SPEED x TIME = 0.162 nm/s x 425 s = 68.55 nm

(ONE WAY TRIP ONLY)

48
CHAPTER 8

SECONDARY SURVEILLANCE RADAR SSR

FREQUENCY BAND 1030 Mhz and 1090 Mhz UHF

PRIMARY RADAR

Primary radar transmits pulses from a rotating scanner, the pulses are reflected by aircraft
and return to the scanner. The bearing and distance of aircraft are portrayed on a PPI (Plan
Position Indicator). The major disadvantage of primary radar is that there is no positive
identification of each aircraft. Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) is used in conjunction
with primary radar to provide the necessary identification

SECONDARY SURVEILLANCE RADAR SSR

RANGE 200 nm

The ground SSR interrogator transmits a pair of pulses on 1030 Mhz. The aircraft receives
the interrogation and replies on 1090 Mhz (TRANSPONDER CODE). The SSR interrogator
is directional and the aircraft transponder is omni-directional.

GROUND INTERROGATION MODES

MODE A IDENTIFICATION REQUEST TWO PULSES 8s apart

MODE B IDENTIFICATION REQUEST TWO PULSES 17s apart

MODE C ALTITUDE REPORTING REQUEST TWO PULSES 21s apart

MODE D EXPERIMENTAL TWO PULSES 25s apart

49
AIRCRAFT TRANSPONDER CODES 1090 Mhz

The aircraft replies to the interrogation by transmitting a pair of pulses 20.3 s apart called
the framing pulses. Between the two framing pulses will be the aircraft's allocated code (a
binary code) which is formed by the inclusion or omission of 12 coding pulses.

l = Inclusion 0 = Omission

0 = 000 1 = 001 2 = 010 3 = 011 Numbers 8 and 9


4 = 100 5 = 101 6 = 110 7 = 111 are not used

Example SQUAWK 3624

20.3 s Frame 4.35 s

011 110 010 100 INDENT PULSE

IDENT

A Special Identification Pulse (SIP) can be transmitted 4.35 s after the framing pulse by
pressing the IDENT button on the aircraft's SSR control unit. This is activated by the crew
on ATC request only and highlights the aircraft's position on the ATC PPI display.

There are 4096 codes available. When selecting or changing a code, care must be taken
not to select one of the emergency codes below. It is advisable to change codes on the
standby position.

EMERGENCY CODES

7500 INTERFERENCE - HIJACK


7600 RADIO FAILURE
7700 EMERGENCY - SOS

ALTITUDE REPORTING

On receiving a mode C interrogation the aircraft transponder will automatically transmit the
aircraft's altitude. The height is referenced to standard pressure of 1013.2 hPa regardless of
the altitude setting on the encoding altimeter.

SIDE LOBE SUPPRESSION

The interrogator transmits a narrow beam in azimuth for bearing accuracy. Unfortunately the
azimuth beam has side lobes that may interrogate a nearby aircraft and an incorrect reply
would result. The pair of pulses of the interrogation are termed P1 and P3, A third
omnidirectional pulse P2 is transmitted 2 s after the P1 pulse, whose signal strength is
greater than the side lobes but less than the P1 and P3 pulses. Circuits in the transponder
receiver compare the amplitudes of the P1, P2 and P3 pulses and the transponder will only
reply if the amplitude of the P1 and P3 pulses is greater than the amplitude of the P2 pulse.

50
DEFRUITING

If an aircraft is within range of two SSR stations, the aircraft reply to a station A interrogation
may be received by station B and vice versa. The unwanted replies are called 'fruit' and to
combat this the Pulse Recurrence Periods of adjacent SSR stations are slightly different
and 'defruiting' circuits filter the replies with different PRP's.

GARBLING

If two aircraft are less that 1 nm apart in azimuth, the replies from the two aircraft would
appear as one wide blip on the PPI display. Special 'killer' circuits are incorporated to
prevent this and two blips would appear.

51
CHAPTER 9

AIRBORNE WEATHER RADAR (AWR)

FREQUENCY BAND 9375 Mhz SHF

WAVELENGTH 3.2cms

PRINCIPLE

The SHF 9375 Mhz is used because of the short wavelength of 3.2 cms. At this wavelength
mist, fog and clouds composed of tiny water droplets do not reflect the 3.2 cm wavelength,
and as these clouds and fog are harmless to aircraft regarding turbulence, need not be
shown on the radar screen. Clouds such as large Cumulus and Cumulo-nimbus are
composed of large water drops and hail due to the strong vertical currents in the clouds and
are dangerous to aircraft. Radar pulses of 3.2 cm wavelength are reflected from such large
water drops and give excellent echoes. Weather radar is a primary radar
(1 transmitter/receiver and 1 frequency) and uses the searchlight principle.

OPERATION

A short pulse is transmitted and the receiver detects the returning echo on the same
frequency. Receiver sensitivity is reduced immediately after transmission of the pulse and
slowly increased with time. The echoes from clouds close to the aircraft will be strong whilst
echoes from distant clouds will be weak. Varying receiver sensitivity will paint clouds with a
similar brightness on the radar screen. This is the sensitive time control (STC).

RANGE

Range depends on transmission power and Pulse Recurrence Frequency / Period. The
pulse must be given enough time to travel out to the cloud and return as an echo, before the
next pulse is transmitted.

PRF 400 pulses per second = range 202 nm


PRF 500 pulses per second = range 162 nm

POWER

52
STBY STANDBY Normally selected after starting engines, radar ready for
instant use.

ON Radar operating, scanner gyro stabilized. May be used on the ground


using extreme caution on runway just prior to take-off if bad weather
in take-off flight path).

STAB OFF Aerial locked to aircraft pitch and roll axes.

RANGE SWITCH 30 nm with range circles every 5 nm varies from radar


60 nm with range circles every 10 nm to radar
180 nm with range circles every 30 nm

TILT CONTROL

Permits aerial tilt 30 up when estimating the height of cloud tops or 30 down when ground
mapping at long range.

GAIN CONTROL

To brighten or dim the picture.

ERASE RATE

To increase or reduce the rate that clouds on the screen fade. The time base sweeps from
left to right painting clouds. At the second sweep from left to right, the clouds painted by the
first sweep should be fading just as they are repainted by the second sweep a little closer to
the aircraft.

FUNCTION SWITCHES

WEA (sometimes shown as WX)

The normal position for observing clouds using a narrow conical pencil beam.

CONTOUR

To examine the most turbulent areas in clouds by using an iso-echo display.

MAP

Ground mapping by the use of a cosecant beam which is a very wide beam in the vertical
(85). The power output of the beam varies as the cosecant of the angle of depression.
Minimum power is directed vertically to objects at close range and the power increases to
the maximum for objects at long range so as to paint similar ground features with equal
brightness. The maximum range of the cosecant beam is in the order of 65 nm.

MAN

53
A narrow conical pencil beam used in conjunction with the tilt control for ground mapping at
long range. Small islands can usually be painted at the maximum range of the radar. The
sensitive time control is inoperative in this position and the manual gain control is used.

ISO-ECHO DISPLAY

The iso-echo display examines clouds in detail. Although the pilot can see clouds ahead of
the aircraft, it needs experience to determine very dangerous clouds from less dangerous
ones on a monochrome display. Strong turbulent clouds produce stronger echoes than
inactive clouds. When the contour position is selected the iso-echo system inhibits echoes
above a predetermined level and the area will not be seen on the screen. About the
turbulent area there is the remainder of the cloud whose activity is below the predetermined
level and will be shown. A cloud shown on the screen with black holes is extremely
dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

DISPLAY DISTORTION

The conical pencil beam is narrow, in the region of 4 in azimuth and 5 in the vertical. At
long range two clouds less than the beam width apart will appear as one cloud. As the
aircraft approaches the clouds and the beam narrows they will appear as separate clouds.

54
EFFECT OF BEAM WIDTH

The beam adds one half of the beam width distance on either side of the cloud. This is due
to the fact that the echo returns from the time that the leading edge of the beam comes in
contact with the cloud until the time that the trailing edge of the beam leaves the cloud.

EFFECT OF PULSE LENGTH

The cloud reflects the pulse for the same time duration as the length of the pulse. It is
presented on the screen against a time base, measuring range. The time scale is halved in
order to display cloud ranges. On the time base the pulse length extends the image in
range by a distance equal to half the pulse length.

CLOUD HEIGHT DETERMINATION

Using the tilt control the beam is raised until the cloud just begins to disappear. The bottom
of the beam is directly on top of the cloud. This gives the angular measurement of the cloud
tops above aircraft altitude. Knowing the range of the cloud the height of the cloud tops can
be calculated.

55
Example 3

Beam width 3
Tilt 2 down
Stab on
Fl 350
Cloud range 17nms

3.5

17 Tan 3.5 = Ht of cloud

= 6322 ft

35000 – 6322 = 28650 ft tops of cloud

56
CHAPTER 10

Radio Altimeters

PRINCIPLE

A radio wave is transmitted vertically and the time taken for the radio wave to reach the
ground and return to the aircraft is measured. Knowing the speed of propagation multiplied
by time will give the height of the aircraft landing gear above the ground.

FREQUENCY MODULATED RADIO ALTIMETER 4300 Mhz ± 50 Mhz

The radio altimeter's frequency modulated at 20 Hz per nano-second. If the-transmission


starts at 4250 Mhz, the 4250 Mhz will travel to the ground and will be received as 4250 Mhz
after 't' nano-seconds. At the instant the 4250 Mhz signal is being received the transmitter is
transmitting 4250.0234 Mhz. The frequency having been increased by 20 Hz per nano-
second (ns).

57
CHANGE OF FREQUENCY = TIME
RATE OF CHANGE OF FREQUENCY

Transmitting Frequency 4250.0234 Mhz

Received Frequency 4250.0000 Mhz

Frequency Difference 0.0234 Mhz x 1000 x 1000 = 23400 Hz = 1170ns


20 Hz/ns

Distance = Speed x Time = 0.984 feet / ns x 1170 ns = Aircraft Height 575.64 feet
2 2

RANGE 0 to 2500 feet

ACCURACY 5 feet or 3% of height.

Half needle increment is error for the indicator.

DECISION HEIGHT

A decision height control knob positions the DH bug for use during an ILS approach.

ERRORS

Fixed Error

This error is caused by the method of converting frequency difference into height and
feeding the current to the indicator. The radio altimeter pointer moves in 5 feet steps (similar
to the second hand of a watch) so an error of 2½ feet may be present at any time.

Mushing Error

When the transmitting aerial is at a different height to the receiving aerial due to aircraft
attitude.

58
CHAPTER 11
AREA NAVIGATION

RNAV

Area navigation equipment includes INS, LORAN, and recently GPS. The first three are
expensive and with the advent of cheap computers an area navigation system based on
VOR and DME was designed. This system is known as a RHO - THETA system. RHO
being the distance from a DME and THETA the bearing from the VOR.

WAYPOINT (WPT). A geographical position expressed in Latitude and Longitude. It can


also be expressed as a bearing and distance from a VOR /DME.

59
COURSE LINE COMPUTER (CLC)

The Course Line Computer solves the triangle.

Side c is the aircraft DME distance


Side b is the distance of the waypoint from the DME
Angle A is the difference between the aircraft's Radial and the waypoint Radial from the
VOR

The two unknowns, side a (distance to the waypoint) and angle B (magnetic track to the
waypoint) are solved and can be presented on a CDI as steering commands similar to the
VOR CDI.

In effect the position of the VOR /DME has been offset to the waypoint.

RNAV CDI INDICATIONS

VOR Full scale deflection 10°

RNAV CLC Less than 100 nm from the waypoint Full scale deflection 5nm

RNAV CLC More than 100 nm from the waypoint Full scale deflection 10°

RNAV CLC Approach Mode (up to 25 nm) Full scale deflection 1.25nm

APPROACH MODE

A non-precision approach to an airfield may be made with the CLC in the approach mode.
The airfield must be within 25 nm of a VOR/DME station.

CLC COMPUTER

CLC computers vary greatly. A simple installation may not correct for DME slant range. With
a basic CLC the VOR/DME frequency is selected on the nav receiver. On the CLC waypoint
selector the radial and DME distance of the waypoint is selected. The CDI presents left/right
steering commands in conjunction with an OBS. With more sophisticated systems the
computer may be programmed with 10 waypoints, VOR/DME positions and frequencies,
elevation of VOR/DME stations and inputs from an encoding altimeter (to calculate ground
range instead of slant range).

60
CHAPTER 12

GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM GPS


GPS is a satellite based radio navigation system that provides continuous global coverage
to an unlimited number of users.

PRINCIPLE

The time interval between the time of transmission of the signal by the satellite and
reception of the signal by an aircraft is measured. The time interval multiplied by the speed
of propagation of radio waves gives the range of the aircraft from the satellite.

The system consists of three major segments:-

THE SPACE SEGMENT - THE USER SEGMENT THE CONTROL SEGMENT

THE SPACE SEGMENT

21 satellites plus 3 active in orbit spares arranged in six orbital planes inclined at 55 ْ to the
Equator.

The orbit is slightly elliptical at 10 898 NM ( 288 NM) altitude. 1 orbit every 12 hours.

Each satellite transmits a precisely timed binary pulse train together with a set of ephemeris
constants (astronomical position) defining its current orbit.

61
THE USER SEGMENT

The user segment consists of receivers on board surface transport vehicles, aircraft and
ships. The receiver picks up signals from four or more satellites and a computer calculates
the position.

THE CONTROL SEGMENT

The control segment consists of 5 unmanned monitor stations that track each satellite in its
orbit. Each satellite's orbit and the timing of the onboard atomic clock is monitored. Any
necessary corrections are then sent to one of four ground stations and transmitted to each
satellite to update the ephemeris co-ordinates and clock correction factors.

OPERATION

GPS satellites transmit on two L-band frequencies.

L1 1575.42 Mhz modulated with two pseudo-random codes.


P (precise) for military use only and C/A (coarse acquisition) for civil use.

L2 1227.6 Mhz, P (precise code only) for military use with an accuracy of  3 metres.

Each satellite is assigned its own unique C/A and P codes for identification.

SELECTIVE AVAILABILITY (SA)

The United States military will not permit unlimited use of the highest accuracy levels ( 3
metres) that GPS provides. The P code signal for military use only is encoded in such a
way that civil users cannot make use of it. The accuracy of the civil C/A code is as from 02
May 2000  20 metres. When SA was on, a GPS degradation of  100 metres was
achieved by jittering the satellite timing in an unpredictable fashion and by drifting the
broadcast satellite ephemeris. The effect of SA was that the indicated position for a
stationary user wandered around the true position in an unpredictable fashion. The US DoD
can still degrade the accuracy in selected areas, but will give advanced warning of this.

62
THREE SATELLITE FIXING

Three satellites will give three spheres of range which provides an unambiguous fix in two
dimensions without the geocentric height input. Actually there will be two fixes but one will
be far out in space which is an impractical position for an aircraft.

FOUR SATELLITE FIXING

Four satellites will give a three dimensional fix that is independent of any other input. The
fix is related to three satellites and the mass centre of the Earth. The accuracy of the fix will
vary and depends on the angles of intersection of the three range spheres which in turn
depends on the relative positions of three satellites. The fourth satellite is used to eliminate
timing errors.

PSEUDO RANGING

Each satellite transmits its unique pulse train towards a receiver, the pulse train contains the
ident code, the satellite position and the exact time it was transmitted. The signal will take
about one-eleventh of a second to reach the receiver. The receiver generates an identical
C/A code pulse train but it is not synchronized with the transmission. The receiver
automatically slews the pulse train it is generating in order to match the two signals. When
they are matched the receiver "locks on" and the receiver can measure the signal travel
time plus or minus the timing error of the quartz crystal oscillator in the receiver. This error
is the "clock bias error'' and is the same for each satellite. The signal travel time multiplied
by 162 000 nm per second gives a pseudo range which has to be corrected for the receiver
clock bias error.

By measuring the time delays from four or more satellites the computer can set up four
equations and mathematically eliminate the clock bias error and calculate the position of the
receiver.

S Lat = Satellite Latitude S Long = Satellite Longitude S Alt = Satellite Altitude


R Lat = Receiver Latitude R Long = Receiver Longitude R Alt = Receiver Altitude
TT = Signal Travel Time CB = Clock Bias Error

The receiver Latitude, Longitude, Altitude and Clock Bias Error are unknown but can be
calculated by the following equations.

By geometry:

(S1 Lat - R Lat)2 + (S1 Long - R Long) 2 + (S1 Alt – R Alt) 2 = (TTCB) 2
(S2 Lat - R Lat) 2 + (S2 Long - R Long) 2 + (S2 Alt - R Alt) 2 = (TT CB) 2
(S3 Lat - R Lat) 2 + (S3 Long - R Long) 2 + (S3 Alt - R Alt) 2 = (TT CB) 2
(S4 Lat - R Lat) 2 + (S4 Long - R Long) 2 + (S4 Alt - R Alt) 2 = (TT CB) 2

The corrected signal travel time multiplied by the speed of light equals the slant range from
the satellite to the receiver (similar to DME).

The velocity of the aircraft is calculated by the instantaneous Doppler frequency shift at the
receiver.

Note: The Cartesian Co-ordinate System is used by GPS (X, Y and Z axes) but the units
used in the above equations are immaterial.

63
TIMING ERRORS

Relativistic Time Delay

Relativistic time delay is in accordance with Einstein's theories of relativity.. The clock on
board the satellite ( 10 898 nm altitude, velocity 12 000 feet/sec) ticks at a different rate to
the clock on board an aircraft ( 6 nm altitude, velocity 1000 feet/sec) because the clocks
are in different gravitational fields. The magnitude of the error is predictable and the satellite
clock can be offset to correct for this error.

Ionospheric Delay

Radio signals from the satellites passing through the ionosphere are bent and are slowed
down. The resulting time delay is inversely proportional to the square of the transmission
frequency and two frequencies (L1 and L2) can be used to compensate. Each frequency
has a slightly different time delay. The P code receivers can be programmed for the
majority of this error. The C/A receivers use the L1 signal only and can be programmed to
reduce the error by about 50 %.

Tropospheric Delay

The tropospheric delay occurs when the radio signals are slowed down when passing
through the troposphere. The error is a function of aircraft altitude and satellite elevation
above the horizon, the error is maximum when the aircraft altitude is low and the satellite is
on the horizon. The correction factor is mathematical.

DIFFERENTIAL GPS

The position accuracy of C/A is deliberately degraded to  100 metres by the US military. To
improve accuracy the position of a monitor station is accurately surveyed, usually by using
GPS. This may appear strange but several hundreds of thousand GPS positions can be
taken in a few days and the receiver position is averaged and refined to a few centimetres.
Originally a geographical correction was transmitted to aircraft by data link (correction 015
(T) 55 metres). This was not satisfactory as the aircraft may have used different satellites
than the monitor and the correction factor was not valid, and the method was abandoned .
Many GPS receivers now use every satellite above the horizon instead of just four. The
monitor station also uses every satellite in view instead of the original four. Corrections are
calculated by first calculating the pseudo range assuming the receiver and satellite positions
are correct. The difference between the calculated and measured pseudo ranges is the
correction transmitted to aircraft by data link.

64
POSITION DILUTION OF PRECISION (PDOP)

The ideal GPS fix will be obtained when the ranges are from three satellites which are 120
apart in azimuth and the fourth satellite is overhead.

Assuming that the ranges from three satellites are under reading by 50 metres, then the
centre of the cocked hat will be the correct position due to excellent geometry. If the three
satellites are only 50 apart in azimuth then the centre of the cocked hat may be in error.
The problem is overcome by using as many satellites as possible but bear in mind possible
errors when geometry is poor. The errors could increase from 30 metres with ideal
geometry to 300 metres with poor geometry.

RECEIVER AUTONOMOUS INTEGRITY MONITORING (RAIM)

There is always a possibility that a satellite maybe transmitting faulty information, either in
its position or time. This will be detected by the five stations of the control segment or by
the monitor station of DGPS and action will be taken. Nevertheless this will take time and
the pilot of an aircraft needs to be warned of a satellite malfunction when it occurs, thus
RAIM.

Integrity monitoring relies on the fact that only four satellites are required to obtain a fix. The
fix is three dimensional, three ranges gives a triangle and the fourth produces a tetrahedron
or pyramid. Usually more than four satellites are in view and the extra satellites can be used
to form different combinations of four satellites that can be compared for consistency. With
five satellites, there are five possible combinations of four satellite fixes and provided all of
the combinations have the same or similar PDOP one will produce a smaller tetrahedral
volume than the others. This is the one fix that does not include the faulty satellite, all the
others do and the faulty satellite can be identified and isolated.

Unfortunately five fixes with similar PDOP rarely occur which makes comparisons difficult if
not impossible. Six satellites improves the situation significantly and seven satellites even
better. Eight satellites which is the average maximum in view at any time with a 24 satellite
system gives a 65% certainty of a satellite malfunction being detected which is way below
the 99.9% required for precision approaches. To ensure that RAIM will be 100% foolproof at
any position and at anytime between 36 and 42 satellites are required. Combined
GPS/GLONASS receivers are being developed which will increase the number of satellites
available from 24 to 48.

65
CHAPTER 13

GROUND PROXIMITY WARNING SYSTEM GPWS


The GPWS is a digital computer or central processing unit (CPU) which accepts inputs
from:-

 Radio altimeter with a failure signal


 Vertical speed sensor or a barometric altitude rate computer with failure signal
 ILS glide path receiver
 Switch activated when the landing gear is down
 Switch activated when the flaps are in the landing position

The GPWS monitors six basic modes of aircraft operation and issues warnings if a
hazardous situation is arising.

Mode 3 is automatically selected for take-off or overshoot below 500 ft.


Mode 4 is automatically selected for landing

Crew action in response to GPWS alerts or warnings are given in the Operations Manual.

Sample of profile from B737-300 manual

ALERT

A caution generated by the GPWS equipment.


The crew must respond immediately by correcting the flight path or aircraft
configuration (gear or flaps) so that the alert ceases.

See table on next page

66
MODE FLIGHT HAZARD WARNING ENVELOPE ALERT WARNING
1 Excessive rate of descent with respect to terrain 50ft-2450ft SINK RATE WHOOP WHOOP-PULL UP
+ flashing lamp

2a Excessive rate of terrain closure 50ft-1800ft TERRAIN TERRAIN As Mode 1


(Aircraft not in landing configuration)

2b Excessive rate of terrain closure 220ft-790ft TERRAIN TERRAIN As Mode 1


(Aircraft not in landing configuration

3 Negative rate of climb after take-off or go-around 50ft-700ft DON’T SINK -

4a Unsafe terrain clearance 50ft-500ft TOO LOW - GEAR As Mode 1


(Aircraft not in landing configuration – Gear up)

4b Unsafe terrain clearance 50ft-500ft TOO LOW - FLAPS ‘TOO LOW – TERRAIN’
(Aircraft not in landing configuration – Flap up)

5 Excessive downward departure from ILS 100ft-500ft GLIDESLOPE -


glideslope

6 Descent below minimums - MINIMUMS -

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68