Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Helicopter flight trials for EGNOS

Successful trials have recently been conducted at Lausanne, Switzerland, using the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) to guide a helicopter as it approached and touched down at an emergency medical service landing pad in the city.

The Lausanne trials were performed by Eurocopter, using their EC155 experimental all-weather helicopter (Hélicoptère Tous Temps – HTT). The trial programme was coordinated by skyguide, the Swiss air navigation service provider and consisted of a number of validating approaches performed by the HTT to a Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) pad located on the roof of Lausanne University Hospital.

The test team was hosted in Lausanne’s La Blécherette aerodrome by the Swiss medical air rescue agency (Schweizerische Rettungsflugwacht - Garde Aérienne Suisse de Sauvetage – REGA) who also participated in the flight tests.

The trial approaches were designed by skyguide for 6° and 9° approach angles. Initial feedback from the test pilots indicates that, despite of the steepness of the approaches – the standard approach angle is 3° – they are easy to fly thanks to the three-dimensional guidance provided by EGNOS. Vertical guidance for the pilot is a major advantage EGNOS offers over standard GPS.

The increased approach angles also reduce noise nuisance on the ground as the helicopter can remain at high altitude until it is closer to its destination before commencing its final descent. In addition, a steeper descent angle reduces the noise generated by the rotor blades as the craft nears the ground.

The implementation of instrument approaches for HEMS operations will allow the emergency services to continue their operations in weather conditions that would otherwise ground their helicopters.

The trials were performed as part of the GNSS Introduction in the AviatioN secTor (GIANT) project. GIANT is a European Commission Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) project with the aim of supporting the introduction of EGNOS and Galileo services into the aviation market while demonstrating to the responsible authorities that the required safety levels are achieved.

The helicopter trials follow on from the fixed-wing EGNOS/GIANT trials held at Valencia, in Spain, during late 2006. Additional GIANT flight trials will be performed in 2007, at other European airports and on an oil rig in the North Sea.

EGNOS is a joint programme of the European Space Agency, the European Commission and Eurocontrol. EGNOS is made up of a network of more than forty elements all over Europe that collect, record, correct and improve data from the US Global Positioning System (GPS). The modified signals are then relayed via geostationary satellites to user’s terminals, offering a positional accuracy of better than two metres, compared with 15 to 20 metres for GPS alone. In addition, EGNOS gives a guarantee of quality for these signals that GPS does not provide.

Dominique Detain | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Next Generation Cryptography
20.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie SIT

nachricht TIB’s Visual Analytics Research Group to develop methods for person detection and visualisation
19.03.2018 | Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB)

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Physicists made crystal lattice from polaritons

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

20.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Thawing permafrost produces more methane than expected

20.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>