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Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Trajectory control technology


March 31, 2015
Flight experiments using MuPAL-α to enable precise curved approaches performed

From December 15 to 19, 2014, JAXA conducted flight experiments with MuPAL-α research aircraf t at Sendai Airport to verify how GBAS could enable precise cur ved approaches. In addition to creating the need for shorter intervals between take-offs and landings, escalating airport traffic levels are also leading to increased turbulence around airports ...[more]

An instrument landing system (ILS) allows landing even with poor visibility caused by bad weather if the airport is furnished with it. However there are only a few domestic runways that can accomodate instrument approach because an ILS requires at least a 5 km straight path to the runway. If there are mountains or populated areas around an airport, ILS cannot be adopted. Because a visual/contact approach is necessary at a runway without ILS, low visibility has come to account for a quarter of the reasons given for flight cancellation.

Introduction of the Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) into airports is in progress to improve the precision of satellite positioning by GPS around an airport. The GBAS provides precise positional information to an aircraft pilot.

As a part of the DREAMS project, JAXA has developed technology which generates a curved approach route having a straight section as long as 2 km, which allows an approach using automatic operation.

Flexibly generating approach path