Algorithm experts give WAAS advice
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- Mar 23, 2000
A panel of software experts will be formed to help solve safety problems
with the Federal Aviation Administration's nearly $3 billion Wide-Area Augmentation
The advisers are being assembled after the FAA and Raytheon Co. stopped
work early this year on the system after discovering during testing that
WAAS did not meet certain safety requirements. WAAS is a ground- and space-based
system designed to verify and correct signals received from the Defense
Department's Global Positioning System.
The WAAS integrity monitor, which alerts an aircraft pilot when a GPS
signal is not accurate, failed to detect an instance where "hazardously
misleading information" was transmitted, according to testimony from Kenneth
Mead, the Transportation Department's inspector general. Mead spoke during
a hearing Wednesday before the House Appropriations Committee's Transportation
and Related Agencies Subcommittee.
Nine or 10 top experts in the safety algorithms WAAS uses will be assembled
to assess the best way to proceed and determine the schedule and cost impacts,
FAA Administrator Jane Garvey said. The experts are from Stanford University,
Ohio University, Mitre Corp. and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Mead also suggested involvement from the National Academy of Sciences
or a similar organization.