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‫بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم‬

MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)


GROUP MEMBERS
Muhammad Waqar (05-CTE-19)
H.M Farhan GUL (05-CTE-32)
SOME RELATED TERMS
Runway Visual Range (RVR):

The distance over which the pilot of an


aircraft (on the centre-line of the runway) can
see the runway surface markings of the light,
is defines as RVR.
SOME RELATED TERMS
Decision Height:

It is the minimum height at which the pilot


will make the crucial decision of either to
land or to abort the attempt to land.
SOME RELATED TERMS
DME:
Distance Measuring Equipment gives the
air distance between a particular VOR
(very high frequency Omni range) station
and the aircraft. This facility of DME is
invariably available at all VOR stations.
SOME RELATED TERMS
VOR:
Very high frequency Omni range (VOR) stations
give out radio signals in all directions at 1o
intervals producing 360 radials. Each signal,
usually of about 350km range, can be considered
as a route or course that can be followed by an
aircraft, by the use of cockpit instrument.
SOME RELATED TERMS
Flight Rules:
Air Traffic is operated under two specific categories of
flight rules.
1) Visual Flight Rules(VFR)
2) Instrument Flight Rule (IFR)
VISUAL FLIGHT RULE (VFR)
Operation under VFR are only possible
when weather conditions are good
enough for aircraft to visually manage
safe distances and levels with respect to
aircraft and the ground. In VFR
conditions, responsibility lies with the pilot
and there is a little air traffic control, as
aircrafts are allowed to fly on the “see and
be seen” principle.
INSTRUMENT FLIGHT RULE (IFR)
When the visibility is poor or the cloud
ceiling is below the requisite standards, IFR
conditions prevail. In these conditions, the
responsibility lies with air traffic control.

NOTE: The choice depends on weather


conditions and prevailing traffic densities.
PRECISION APPROACH
AND LANDING SYSTEM
• Approach – generally the phase flight
immediately preceding landing
• Non-precision Approach
– Only horizontal guidance provided
• Precision Approach
– Vertical and horizontal guidance provided
PRECISION APPROACH
AND LANDING SYSTEM
• Precision Approach Categories
• Cat I: 200 Ft. ceiling 2600 Ft. visibility
• Cat II: 100 Ft. decision height, 1200 Ft. RVR
• Cat III:
– subcat a: 0 Ft. decision height, 700 Ft. RVR
– subcat b: 0 Ft. decision height, 150 Ft. RVR
– subcat c: 0 Ft. decision height, 0 Ft. RVR
PRECISION APPROACH
AND LANDING SYSTEM
• Note: The higher the category, the more
stringent the requirements for ground and
air installations and pilot qualifications
• e.g.
– extra runway lighting (centerline), approach
lighting
– redundant transmitters (hot spares)
PRECISION APPROACH
AND LANDING SYSTEM

• Precision Instrument Approach


Systems
– Instrument Landing System (ILS)
– Microwave Landing System (MLS)
– Differential GLS (Local and WAAS)
WHY WE SWITCHED FROM
ILS TO MLS?
We switched from Instrument Landing System
(ILS) to Microwave Landing System (MLS) due
to limitations of ILS. The ILS has a number of
basic limitations:

•Site sensitivity and high installation costs


•Single approach path
•Multi path interference
•Channel limitations - 40 channels only.
•Limited glide path angle (5 degree?)
•Limited to “straight in” approaches
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
BACKGROUND
In the mid 1970’s the US was running into ILS frequency
congestion problems in the North Eastern part of the country.
(the 40 channel problem)
In an attempt to alleviate the situation, they proposed that ICAO
has to specify a new type of landing aid that would use
microwave frequencies (specifically about 15 GHz)
In response, two techniques were proposed. The US and
Australia proposed a Time Referenced Scanning Beam (TRSB)
system and the British proposed a Doppler system.
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
BACKGROUND (CONTINUED)
Because there was very little difference between the two
systems and because there was perceived to be a great deal of
economic benefit to the “winners”, the selection process became
almost entirely political.
To no one’s surprise, the US/Australian system was adopted.
Unfortunately, the FAA, which was given the job of introducing
the MLS into the civil aviation system, failed completely.
In 1994, the US government issued a statement that no further
work would be done on MLS and that GPS would be used in
stead.
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
BACKGROUND (CONTINUED)
This turned out to be premature. At the present time, only
WAAS-based procedures have been certified for use and they do
not quite meet Cat I requirements. LAAS for Cat II and III are
still in the pre-certification stage.
Thus the door is still open for MLS to stage a comeback.
Of interest is that NASA uses a 15 GHz TSB MLS for landing
the Space Shuttle. (Glide Path angle 19 )
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)

The Microwave Landing System (MLS) is an


all-weather, precision landing system
originally intended to replace or supplement the
Instrument Landing System (ILS)

MLS has a number of operational advantages,


including a wide selection of channels to avoid
interference with other nearby airports, excellent
performance in all weather, and a small
"footprint" at the airports.
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)

The time-referenced scanning beam


Microwave Landing System (MLS)
has been adopted by ICAO as the
standard precision approach system
to replace ILS. MLS provides
precision navigation guidance for
alignment and descent of aircraft on
approach to a landing by providing
azimuth, elevation and distance.
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)

Frequency of Operation:
5.031 to 5.0907 GHz
300kHz spacing (200 channels)
OPERATIONAL FUNCTIONS OF MLS

The system may be divided into five


functions:
APPROACH AZIMUTH GUIDANCE
The azimuth station transmits MLS angle
and data on one of 200 channels within the
frequency range of 5031 to 5091 MHz and is
normally located about 1,000 feet (300 m)
beyond the stop end of the runway, but there
is considerable flexibility in selecting sites.
The azimuth coverage extends: Laterally, at
least 40 degrees on either side of the runway
centerline in a standard configuration. In
elevation, up to an angle of 15 degrees and
to at least 20,000 feet (6 km), and in range,
to at least 20 nautical miles (37 km)
APPROACH AZIMUTH GUIDANCE

Coverage Volume of the Azimuth station


APPROACH AZIMUTH GUIDANCE

Coverage Volume of the Azimuth station


BACK AZIMUTH GUIDANCE

The back azimuth antenna provides


lateral guidance for missed approach and
departure navigation. The back azimuth
transmitter is essentially the same as the
approach azimuth transmitter. However,
the equipment transmits at a somewhat
lower data rate because the guidance
accuracy requirements are not as stringent
as for the landing approach.
BACK AZIMUTH GUIDANCE

The equipment operates on the same


frequency as the approach azimuth
but at a different time in the
transmission sequence. On runways
that have MLS approaches on both
ends, the azimuth equipment can be
switched in their operation from the
approach azimuth to the back azimuth
and vice versa.
BACK AZIMUTH GUIDANCE
ELEVATION GUIDANCE
The elevation station transmits signals
on the same frequency as the azimuth
station. A single frequency is time-shared
between angle and data functions and the
elevation transmitter is normally located
about 400 feet from the side of the runway
between runway threshold and the
touchdown zone. It allows for a wide
range of glide path angles selectable by
the pilot.
ELEVATION GUIDANCE

Elevation coverage is provided in


the same airspace as the azimuth
guidance signals: In elevation, to
at least +15 degrees; Laterally, to
fill the Azimuth lateral coverage
and in range, to at least 20
nautical miles (37 km)
ELEVATION GUIDANCE

Coverage Volumes of the Elevation station


RANGE GUIDANCE

Range guidance, consistent with the


accuracy provided by the azimuth and
elevation stations, is provided by the MLS
precision DME (DME/P). DME/P has an
accuracy of +100 ft as compared, with +
1200 ft accuracy of the standard. DME
system. In the future it may be necessary to
deploy DME/P with modes which could be
incompatible with standard airborne DME
receivers.
RANGE GUIDANCE

The MLS Precision Distance Measuring


Equipment (DME/P) functions the same as
the navigation DME, but there are some
technical differences. The beacon transponder
operates in the frequency band 962 to 1105
MHz and responds to an aircraft interrogator.
The MLS DME/P accuracy is improved to be
consistent with the accuracy provided by the
MLS azimuth and elevation stations.
A DME/P channel is paired with the azimuth
and elevation channel.
DATA COMMUNICATIONS
The azimuth ground station includes
data transmission in its signal format
which includes both basic and
auxiliary data. Basic data may include
approach azimuth track and minimum
glide path angle. Auxiliary data may
include additional approach information
such as runway condition, wind-shear
or weather.
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION
Angular position is determined by measuring the time of
detection of a beam which is being scanned at a
predetermined rate
Example – Azimuth (horizontal):
The azimuth beam is shaped as follows:

Top View

Side View
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION

The beam is fan-shaped, that is, very narrow in the


measurement (azimuth) direction and fairly wide in the other
(vertical) direction meaning that it can be used at reasonably
high angles

Top View

Side View
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION
The beam is swept back and forth at a controlled rate

The amplitude of the sweep depends on the requirements of


the system but is nominally 40
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION

An aircraft thus detects the beam twice per period; once


on the “to” sweep and once on the “fro” sweep. The
receiver measures the time between the two detections
or pulses.
t
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION - TIME MULTIPLEXING
To accommodate all of the required measurements (Az,
El, Back AZ and Flare), each is assigned a time slot in a
cycle of measurements which takes 115 milliseconds
(ms). This is called time multiplexing.
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
PRINCIPLE OF OPERATION – BEAM TIMING
Dwell Time
+40

t
θ
0

T0
-40
Since the rate of scan and the dwell time are known, the
angle θ can be determined from the measurement of t.

Where V is the scan rate = 0.02 /s


MLS ANTENNAS

The antennas were much smaller, due to


using a higher frequency signal. They also
did not have to be placed at a specific
point at the airport, and could "offset" their
signals electronically. This made
placement at the airports much simpler
compared to the large ILS systems, which
had to be placed at the ends of the
runways and along the approach path.
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)

Azimuth Antenna Installation


MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)

Elevation Antenna Installation

An MLS azimuth guidance station with rectangular azimuth scanning


antenna with DME antenna at left
MLS SIGNALS
MLS signals covered a very wide fan-shaped area
off the end of the runway, allowing controllers to vector
aircraft in from a variety of directions. In
comparison, ILS required the aircraft to fly down a
single straight line, requiring controllers to distribute
planes along that line. MLS allowed aircraft to
approach from whatever direction they were already
flying in, as opposed to flying to a parking orbit before
"capturing" the ILS signal. This was particularly
interesting to larger airports, as it potentially allowed
the aircraft to be separated horizontally until much
closer to the airport.
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
ADVANTAGES OVER ILS
• Less susceptible to sitting (reflection)
problems
• Selectable glide path angles (up to 20
) and azimuth approach paths
• Possibility of curved approaches
• Much less susceptibility to interference
• Many more channels available
• Increases runway usability in IFR
conditions
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
ADVANTAGES OVER ILS
• Smaller antennas due to use of high
frequency signal
• Did not have to be placed at specific
point of airport as in ILS
• Single frequency broadcasting
• Greater accuracy than ILS (e.g. in case
of range with DME +/- 1200ft. in ILS
and +/- 100ft. In MLS)
• Signal coverage is more
MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM (MLS)
THE FUTURE
Many countries in Europe are interested in MLS for
Cat II and Cat III operations because they are getting
tired of waiting for LAAS. They are facing much more
interference from their FM stations because they are
permitted to use much higher power than in North
America.
Four MLS facilities were installed at London
Heathrow Airport in 2003 and British Airways has
equipped 60 Airbus A320 aircraft with receivers.
(2003)
REFERENCES
1) www.wikipedia.com
2) http://www.aviationpublishers.com
3) Airport Design and Operation (second
Edition) By Antnin Kazda & Robert
E.Caves
4) Airport Engineering By G .Venkatappa
Rao
5) www.mimi.hu
6)http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/
Government_Role/landing_nav/POL14.htm
ANY QUERIES?

?
THANKS