Air Transport World

Showing the way: the art of navigating around the world enters its third epoch.(Avionics 2004)

In the early 1960s there still remained in service a few of the A/N radio ranges that in the 1930s first brought electronic navigation to the aviation community, rudimentary devices that gave precise guidance on just four courses to and from the station. But in 1964 the transition was nearly complete to a new system of navigation based mostly on VOR (VHF Omni Range) and DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) stations for overland en route navigation and ILS (Instrument Landing System) for precision approaches.

Only now, 40 years on, is the next transition underway, this to a largely satellite-based integrated navigation and approach system based on the US-launched Global Positioning System's providing position information in three dimensions. Developed by the UN military, GPS's forebear was created for the Navy's submarine-launched Trident missile guidance system, which had to know where it was in order to figure out where it was going to go. …

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