Virtual receiver to enhance GNSS-based curved landing approaches

authored by
Franziska Kube, Steffen Schön, Thomas Feuerte

The civil aviation of the future should be ecological, economical, and safe. The citizens in metropolises have on the one hand the need to travel efficiently between airports near the city. On the other hand they do not want to suffer from noise and emission of airplanes starting and landing at airports near the city. Consequently, the future airplane should harmonize these needs. In order to fulfill these requirements new concepts for start and landing approaches are mandatory. Curved approaches are one solution since critical regions can be omitted. These complex maneuvers can only be carried out with the help of satellite navigation systems. One major challenge of curved approaches is the changing obstruction of satellite signals due to shadowing effects by the aircraft itself during curved approaches. Existing GPS landing systems suffer therefore degraded performance (continuity, availability, integrity and accuracy) during curved approaches, especially with higher roll angles at high and low latitudes. To avoid this problem and to meet the requirements of integrity, accuracy, continuity and availability for future GNSS landing systems, the concept of the so called "virtual receiver" has been developed in the framework of the research project "Bürgernahes Flugzeug" (Metropolitan Aircraft). The main idea is to avoid obstruction by combining GNSS observations of few antennae, optimally installed on the airplane and computing one common aircraft position solution. This paper presents the mathematical concept of the virtual receiver. The advantages in terms of continuity, integrity, and accuracy are evaluated based on simulation studies for a combination of antennae on an Airbus A320. Furthermore, the analysis of real data from a test flight confirms the benefits of such a virtual receiver.

Institute of Geodesy
External Organisation(s)
Technische Universität Braunschweig
Conference contribution
No. of pages
Publication date
Publication status
Peer reviewed
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Computer Networks and Communications, Communication

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