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VOR VOR, short for VHF Omni directional radio range, is a type of short-range radio navigation system for

aircraft, enabling aircraft to determine their position and stay on course by receiving radio signals transmitted by a network of fixed ground radio beacons, with a receiver unit. It uses radio frequencies in the very high frequency (VHF) band from 108 to 117.95 MHz. Working Principle A VOR ground station sends out a master signal, and a highly directional second signal that varies in phase 30 times a second compared to the master. This signal is timed so that the phase varies as the secondary antenna spins, such that when the antenna is 90 degrees from north, the signal is 90 degrees out of phase of the master. By comparing the phase of the secondary signal to the master, the angle (bearing) to the station can be determined. This bearing is then displayed in the cockpit of the aircraft, and can be used to take a fix as in earlier radio direction finding (RDF) systems, although it is, in theory, easier to use and more accurate. This line of position is called the "radial" from the VOR. The intersection of two radials from different VOR stations on a chart provides the position of the aircraft. VOR stations are fairly short range; the signals have a range of about 200 miles.

Distance measuring equipment (DME) Distance measuring equipment (DME) is a transponder-based radio navigation technology that measures slant range distance by timing the propagation delay of VHF or UHF radio signals Working Principle DME operates in the UHF band between 962 and 1213MHz. It employs 1 MHz spacing providing 252 channels. The aircraft is equipped with an Interrogator and the ground station is termed a Transponder. As DME facilities are usually co-located with VORs or ILSs facilities and are used in conjunction with each other - the UHF DME channels are paired with VHF VOR & ILS frequencies. Operationally, the pilot has only to set the VOR/ILS

frequency and the DME interrogator is tuned automatically to its correct channel pairing. After selection, the aircraft's interrogator transmits a stream of pulse pairs and simultaneously starts a range-search. The ground based transponder receives the pulse train and re-transmits them after 50uS delay on a frequency which is +/63MHz from the interrogation frequency. The airborne interrogator identifies it's own stream of pulses and measures the time interval between the start of its interrogation and the response from the ground transponder. Accuracy is to +/- 0.2nm. The ground transponder can handle approximately 100 aircraft interrogators at once. (2700 pulse pairs per second) The interrogation pulses are 3.5uS wide and are transmitted in pairs at 12uS (XChannel) or 36uS (Y-Channel) intervals. The pulse pairs are transmitted by the interrogator at random intervals to differentiate themselves from the pulses of other aircraft. Pulse pairs are used to avoid the vulnerability that would occur with a single pulse system - namely - misidentifying single pulses from lightening, other radar, ignition systems etc as valid. As the ground transponder re-transmits all the pulses received from all aircraft the airborne interrogator sets up a "gate" to filter the received stream and allow through only it's own random pulse stream. As the distance between aircraft and transponder changes the interrogator adjusts it's gate to match. The DME interrogator is now said to have achieved lock-on and is in tracking mode. Non-Directional (Radio) Beacon (NDB) A non-directional (radio) beacon (NDB) is a radio transmitter at a known location, used as an aviation or marine navigational aid. As the name implies, the signal transmitted does not include inherent directional information, in contrast to other navigational aids such as low frequency, VHF Omni directional Range (VOR) and TACAN. NDB signals follow the curvature of the earth, so they can be received at much greater distances at lower altitudes, a major advantage over VOR. However, NDB signals are also affected more by atmospheric conditions, mountainous terrain, coastal refraction and electrical storms, particularly at long range.

Working Principle The non directional beacon is an MF transmitter which radiates an uninterrupted carrier in the range 255kHz to 526.5kHz. The carrier is amplitude modulated by a tone of either 400Hz or 1020Hz which is used to key a two or three letter morse identifier. The ident is transmitted at a rate of between 1 and 7 times per minute depending upon the procedure which the beacon is supporting. After tuning to a particular NDB, the pilot uses the audible ident as a confirmation that the correct beacon has been selected. Marker Beacon The ILS Marker Beacon subsystems give pilots location references. It consists of an outer marker, a middle marker and, in some cases, an optional inner marker. These beacons provide a pilot on final approach a series of visual and audio indications of precise position reference points. Working Principle The Marker Beacon components of the ILS operate on 75 MHz and are identified by Outer, Middle, and Inner along the final approach course. These marker beacons indicate when to execute the procedure turn, when the pilot has reached the decision height, and when the runway threshold is imminent.

On some installations, marker beacon operating at a carrier frequency of 75 MHz are provided. When the transmission from a marker beacon is received it activates an indicator on the pilot's instrument panel and the tone of the beacon is audible to the pilot. The distance from the runway at which this indication should be received is published in the documentation for that approach, together with the height at which the aircraft should be if correctly established on the ILS. This provides a check on the correct function of the glideslope. In modern ILS installations, a DME is installed, co-located with the ILS, to augment or replace marker beacons. A DME continuously displays the aircraft's distance to the runway.

ADF Some aircraft are equipped with an ADF receiver. They receive radio signals in the medium frequency band of 190 Khz to 1750 Khz. The ADF receiver can Home on both AM radio stations and Non-Directional Beacons. Commercial AM radio stations broadcast on 540 to 1620 Khz. Non-Directional Beacons (NDBs) operate in the frequency band of 190 to 535 Khz. The aircraft equipment consists of two antennas, the ADF Receiver, and the ADF Instrument. The two antennas are called the (1) LOOP antenna and the (2) SENSE antenna. The loop antenna can sense the direction of the signal from the station, but cannot discriminate whether the station is in front or behind the aircraft. The sense antenna can discriminate direction, and solves the ambiguity of the loop antenna. The receiver unit has tuning dials to select the station frequency A volume control allows the audible volume to be controlled for identifying the station. The volume can be reduced to prevent interference with other communications. You should, however, continuously monitor the identifier while using the NDB for navigation. Global Positioning System (GPS) The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather, anywhere on or near the Earth, where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. It is maintained by the United States government and is freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver. Working Principle A GPS receiver calculates its position by precisely timing the signals sent by GPS satellites high above the Earth. Each satellite continually transmits messages that include

the time the message was transmitted satellite position at time of message transmission

The receiver uses the messages it receives to determine the transit time of each message and computes the distance to each satellite using the speed of light. These

distances along with the satellites' locations are used with the possible aid of trilateration, depending on which algorithm is used, to compute the position of the receiver. This position is then displayed, perhaps with a moving map display or latitude and longitude; elevation information may be included. Many GPS units show derived information such as direction and speed, calculated from position changes. Three satellites might seem enough to solve for position since space has three dimensions and a position near the Earth's surface can be assumed. However, even a very small clock error multiplied by the very large speed of light-- the speed at which satellite signals propagate results in a large positional error. GPS receivers need four or more satellites to solve for both the receiver's location and time. A few specialized GPS applications do however use the time; these include time transfer, traffic signal timing, and synchronization of cell phone base stations.