The global positioning system is today's most precise navigation resource. It provides accurate locations and directions for cars, boats and aircrafts.
The aviation community is taking advantage of the global positioning system and its continuous, accurate coverage available in all types of weather. Unlike the current ground-based equipment used today in air traffic infrastructure, GPS aircraft tracking allows for accurate position determination anywhere on Earth, including near the surface.
GPS aircraft tracking includes specialized GPS trackers and software to render the data gathered by the GPS trackers. Typically this software is web-based and enables both current and past data to be accessed and reviewed. With GPS aircraft tracking, the aircraft periodically broadcasts its position. ATC controllers use the position data they receive to track aircraft and predict any potential conflicts. By using the global positioning system the Collision Avoidance System is highly accurate.
The specialized equipment in GPS air tracking provides precise readings for data imperative to flying, such as bearing, altitude, and speed. Some GPS air tracking systems have built in communication features, such as voice or data. Depending on the set-up, the reporting intervals vary between 1 and 15 minutes. Some GPS air tracking systems report directly to the AFF.
The GPS aircraft tracking equipment also varies based on portability. While some GPS trackers can be permanently installed on aircraft, others can be moved from aircraft to aircraft. For permanently installed GPS trackers, they also vary in their installation method. Some include permanently installed antennae while others require electronics to be added to the dash of the cockpit.
With traditional aviation, an aircraft isn't tracked unless it's in the air traffic control zone. At the point of entering the air traffic control zone, the pilot then calls the base using a satellite phone. By using GPS aircraft tracking, ground control knows where all aircraft are located without waiting for a phone call. This provides more time to review possible conflicts and re-route aircraft as needed.
By outfitting aircraft with GPS tracking devices, their location is known at all times. Should there be an emergency, such as a missing aircraft, the GPS tracking technology would reveal their location quickly so rescue can be sent. Using the traditional aviation methods, the aircraft would need to make contact. Then search and rescue would spend days looking for the missing aircraft.