PALM - a system for precise aircraft location
May 16, 1976
J. of the Institute of Navigation, Vol. 23, No. 3, Fall 1976, pp. 257-261.
The Precision Altitude and Landing Monitor (PALM) is intended to provide accurate stand-alone three-dimensional position data for aircraft equipped with standard beacon transponders using ground equipment designed for low life cycle cost. The PALM program, to the present time, has focused on an experimental evaluation of the accuracy of elevation measurements. The results of these measurements have successfully validated the theoretical prediction of a 1-mrad (0.06 degree) elevation accuracy at low elevation angles. The key features in the PALM design include (1) No new avionics required, i.e., it uses standard aircraft transponder. IFPALM is used as the data base for certain ground-to-air messages, a standard VHF or DABS data link could be employed. (2) High accuracy position data, i.e., a 1-mrad rms error in elevation and in azimuth at low elevation angles. (3) Broad airspace coverage, e.g., 40 degrees in elevation, 120 degrees in azimuth (expandable to 360 degrees), and several tens of miles in range. (4) Low life cycle equipment cost, i.e., it incorporates a fixed passive receiving antenna array and a minicomputer to perform the signal processing necessary for interference rejection.