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Transponder landing system

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A transponder landing system (TLS) is an all-weather, precision

landing system that uses existing airborne transponder and instrument
landing system (ILS) equipment to create a precision approach at a
location where an ILS would normally not be available.

1 Description TLS electronics shelter, elevation
2 Function sensor and uplink antennas Santa
3 Uses Cruz Air Force Base, Rio de Janeiro,
4 Benefits Brazil, August 2009
5 Drawbacks
6 Variations
7 See also
8 Notes
9 References
10 External links

Conventional ILS systems broadcast using a number of "single purpose" TLS at Teniente Rodolfo Marsh
antennas. One, located just off the end of the runway, provides a fan- Martin Aerodrome November 2010,
shaped signal for azimuth direction (side to side) and another located Base Presidente Eduardo Frei
beside the runway provides elevation to indicate a standard glideslope. Montalva Antarctica
ILS installations also include one or more "marker beacons" located off
the end of the runway to provide distance indications as the aircraft
approaches the runway. This complex set of antennas is expensive to
install and maintain, and are often difficult to site in built-up areas.

The TLS facility interrogates the transponders of all aircraft within 60
nautical miles (110 km). After receiving a response, TLS determines the
aircraft's location using three sets of antenna arrays: one for horizontal
position using monopulse techniques, the other for vertical
monopulse[1] and a third for trilateration. TLS then calculates the Aircraft position tracks over southern
position of all aircraft using the transponder responses. Any aircraft Spain as determined by TLS
conducting a PAR-type approach can be viewed on the TLS PAR format
console displaying azimuth and elevation. Up to five different aircraft may be viewed independently on five
different consoles to assist a PAR controller with a conventional PAR talk-down approach. For one aircraft
conducting an ILS approach, the TLS produces a signal that the aircraft would "see" if they were located at that
location and approaching a conventional ILS system, and then broadcasts that signal to the aircraft. The
aircraft's ILS receivers receive a signal that is indistinguishable from a normal ILS signal, and displays this
information on standard ILS glideslope and localizer displays. TLS can also produce marker beacon-like audio
to indicate distance at appropriate times during the approach. All the pilot has to do is tune in the TLS system
as if it were an ILS.
A TLS can be installed in areas where a conventional ILS would not fit
or would not function properly, like, for example, an airport that doesn't
have a proper reflecting surface for an ILS glideslope because of uneven
terrain like steep hills or mountains, or airports that have large buildings
like hangars or parking garages that create disruptive reflections that
would prevent an ILS localizer from being used.[2] TLS does not even
have to be installed at a particular location relative to the runway, but
can "offset" its signals from wherever it is installed to appear as if it
were at the end of the runway. This makes it much less expensive to PAR Format: All aircraft positions
install while still providing ILS-class blind-landing approaches. In within the display field of view are
1998, TLS was certified by the FAA for Category I ILS usage. depicted

Radio-navigation aids must keep a certain degree of accuracy (given by

international standards such as FAA, ICAO, etc.). To assure this is the
case, flight inspection organizations periodically check critical
parameters on properly equipped aircraft to calibrate and certify TLS

One of the primary benefits of TLS is the ability to provide precision
ILS guidance where terrain is sloping or uneven, reflections can create
an uneven glide path for ILS causing unwanted needle deflections. PAR format: Single aircraft may be
Additionally, since the ILS signals are pointed in one direction by the selected for each of the operator
positioning of the arrays, ILS only supports straight-in approaches. TLS consoles to provide talk-down
supports approach over rough terrain and provides the ability to offset guidance
the approach center-line.

With TLS, the localizer course can have a tailored width at the runway
threshold (700 feet and 5 degrees typically) regardless of the runway
length. The localizer width characteristics can be selected by the
approach designer whereas with an ILS the localizer width is
determined by the localizer antenna placement which is usually a
consequence of runway length.

For military users, TLS also provides a Precision Approach Radar

(PAR) graphic display of aircraft position compared to the desired
Transportable TLS (TTLS) owned by
approach course in order for a PAR operator to provide talk-down
the Spanish Air Force deployed at an
guidance to the pilot.[4] Since the TLS operates using the long range undisclosed location
band of SSR (1030/1090 MHz) there is no rain fade such as experienced
with a traditional PAR that uses primary radar. For a traditional PAR,
the ability to track the aircraft position is dependent on the aircraft radar cross section.

TLS is based on transponder multilateration and trilateration and consequently tracks all aircraft that respond to
the interrogations. Omnidirectional antenna surveillance coverage of the TLS extends to 60 nautical miles.[4]

The TLS functions using airborne equipment that is currently widely used by the aviation industry. TLS uses
the existing Mode 3/A/C/S transponder equipment to determine the aircraft's position. It then transmits the
correct signal on the same frequencies used for the current ILS system. All the pilot is required to do is wait for
clearance from ATC for the TLS approach and then tune an ILS receiver to the appropriate frequency. TLS uses
equipment most airplanes already have.
Since the TLS simulates an ILS signal that is specific to one aircraft's
location, only one aircraft at a time may be cleared for the TLS landing
approach. Any other aircraft in the area will receive the same guidance
regardless of their location relative to the approach and must wait to be
cleared by ATC. The transponder code for the cleared aircraft is selected
at the remote control unit.

Variations US Air Force Transportable TLS

(TTLS) deployed at an undisclosed
For mobile applications, primarily of interest to the military, there is a
variety of electronics packaging available including transportability by
trailer, HMMWV or NATO shelter.

See also
Instrument Landing System
Precision approach
Precision approach radar
Secondary surveillance radar
Instrument flight rules (IFR)
VHF Omni-directional Range (VOR)
Distance Measuring Equipment (DME)
Non-Directional Beacon (NDB)
Santa Cruz Air Force Base
Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva

1. Winner (2002), pp. 2, 6.
2. Winner (2002), pp. 36.
3. Barbeau (2002), p. 6.
4. ANPC (2012) website

Winner, Karl (2002). Application of the Transponder Landing System to Achieve Airport Accessibility
Barbeau, Charles (2002). Flight Inspection of the Transponder Landing System
Federal Aviation Administration (December 15, 2004). "Order 8200-40B Flight Inspection of the
Transponder Landing System (TLS)" (pdf) . Retrieved 2005-12-11. Background section explains operation
and use of a TLS.
ANPC (2012). "TLS commercial products". Archived from the original on November 19, 2010.
Retrieved January 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links
ANPC (Advanced Navigation & Positioning Corporation) developers of the TLS
FAA AIM Section 1-1-22c "Transponder Landing System (TLS)"

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Categories: Aircraft landing systems Runway safety Radio navigation

This page was last edited on 17 April 2017, at 04:51.

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