India’s GPS-Aided Geo Augmented Navigation (Gagan) system, jointly developed by Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Indian Space Research Organization and Raytheon, has been awarded certification for in Required Navigation Performance (RNP) 0.1 operations. Achieved with the help of quasi-U.S.government non-profit MITRE Corporation, the certification makes it the world’s fourth SBAS system certified for operational use.
The first test flight using the system will fly an approach in mid-2014 from Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat. The aircraft is likely to be an AAI-owned Beechcraft aircraft, according to S.V Satish, general manager (ATM-Gagan), AAI. Raytheon has built 15 ground reference stations for the Gagan System, which will provide satellite-based navigation for civil aviation over Indian airspace and adjoining areas in South and Southeast Asia.
The Gagan system was installed to advance safety and improve efficiency of airlines operating in Indian skies. Aircraft equipped with satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) receivers may utilize Gagan signals in Indian airspace for en route navigation and non-precision approaches without vertical guidance, enabling them to follow more efficient flight paths through congested airspace, noise sensitive areas and difficult terrain.
“The enhanced navigation capability available through Gagan improves air travel for all parties–airlines, passengers and air traffic authorities,” said Brian Hickey, director, Raytheon Navigation and Landing Systems. “In addition to enhancing air traffic safety, the system will result in increased efficiencies and lower costs for Indian aviation.”
The reference stations have been strategically placed in India to optimize signal availability, with uplink stations, master control stations, a communication network and associated software all integrated with Geostationary Earth Orbit satellites transmitting GPS corrections in C-Band and L-Band.
Gagan provides coverage for the entire Indian Flight Information Region via broadcast signals from the Indian-built GSAT 8 and GSAT 10 satellites.