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Advance Aircraft Navigation Technologies

Navigation refers to the process of planning, recording, and controlling the movement of a craft from one location to another. More specifically, air navigation involves piloting an aircraft from one place to another without getting lost, breaking any aviation laws, or endangering the safety of those on the aircraft or on the ground. In older aircraft, the pilot was accompanied by a flight navigator, who was responsible for trip navigation. With the introduction of sophisticated electronic GPS navigation systems, this role was rendered obsolete. Since this, advancements in air navigation technologies have continued. In this blog, we will discuss four new and exciting air navigation systems.

One new air navigation technology is coming from Airbus. This technology, recently patented, is an automatic landing assistance system that does not use a ground-based landing assistance system such as an instrument landing system (ILS) or microwave landing system (MLS). Instead, it utilizes satellites to ensure a precise landing approach. This new invention has the power to make ground-based landing assistance systems a thing of the past. There are two main advantages of this system. For one, at airports where an ILS is not installed, fog or poor visibility conditions often forces them to shut down. This invention would end that. Additionally, this technology could make automatic landing available at every single airport.

A second technology in development is a drone control system from NASA that could one day lead to flight automation. NASA has developed a system to aid drone operators in tracking and navigation of unmanned aerial vehicles. The technology, known as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B, complies with FAA standards and will enable drone operators to keep their UAVs away from manned aircraft. The system will also alert manned aircraft of any nearby drones. For the commercialization of this technology, NASA has entered into a licensing agreement with Vigilant Aerospace Systems, Inc., an Oklahoma-based company involved in next-generation flight management and safety systems for both manned and unmanned aircraft.

The third technology is a navigation system that is able to work without the need for GPS or GLONASS. Russian aviation and electronics company KRET has designed an inertial navigation system called BINS-2015 which is able to navigate without GPS or GLONASS. Instead, the system automatically determines the location and movement of an aircraft rather than using satellite, ground communication, or external signals. The company announced in 2015 that the technology had passed the relevant testing and would soon be installed in Russian aircraft. Aside from civil aviation, BINS-2015 will be widely used in military aviation to conduct missions without the aircraft’s flight path being detected.

Finally, Honeywell Aerospace is now offering airlines an all-weather integrated multi-mode receiver that will help pilots land in rainy or foggy conditions where visibility is very poor. The system uses satellite-based navigation systems to help pilots make an accurate approach and landing. After thorough testing, Honeywell began implementing this system in 2018. It was first installed in the Airbus A320 and A330. Through simple software upgrades, this new technology has proven to be a great help in meeting navigation mandates and preparing for future navigation capabilities.

These four new technologies will undoubtedly contribute to significant strides in aircraft navigation capabilities, ushering in a new era for flight. For aviation parts and much more, look no further than Purchasing Union, a trusted supplier of parts for a wide range of industries. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are an online distributor of aircraft parts as well as parts pertaining to the aerospace, civil aviation, defense, electronics, and IT hardware markets. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, call us at 1-714-705-4780 or email us at


December 9, 2022
September 23, 2022

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