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25 The rec.aviation glossary: Navigation, Instruments, and Avionics




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This article is from the Aviation FAQ, by Geoffrey G. Peck geoff@peck.com with numerous contributions by others.

25 The rec.aviation glossary: Navigation, Instruments, and Avionics

ADF Automatic Direction Finder - an instrument in an airplane which
displays the relative bearing to an NDB (see below) -- it
essentially "points at the NDB"
AI Attitude Indicator (also known as AH - Artificial Horizon) - an
instrument which provides the pilot with pitch and roll information
ASR Airport Surveillance Radar (usually, a type of instrument approach
which provides only horizontal guidance to the pilot)
CDI Course Deviation Indicator - part of a VOR navigation system, which
shows how far off a desired course the aircraft is
DG Directional Gyro - a compass-like device which uses a gyroscope to
provide stable directional information for a pilot
DME Distance Measuring Equipment
EFIS Electronic Flight Instrumentation System
ELT Emergency Locator Transmitter
GCA Ground-Controlled (instrument) Approach (uses radar, see ASR and PAR)
GPS Global Positioning System - a satellite-based navigation system,
just coming up now
GS Glideslope - the vertical guidance component of an ILS
HSI Horizontal Situation Indicator - combines the functions of a VOR
and a DG
IAC International Aerobatic Club, see
http://acro.harvard.edu/IAC/iac_homepg.html
IFF Identify Friend or Foe -- see transponder
ILS Instrument Landing System - a system which allows appropriately
equipped aircraft to find a runway and land, when the clouds may
be as low as 200 feet (or lower for special circumstances)
INS Inertial Navigation System
IRS Inertial Reference System
LOC Localizer - the horizontal guidance component of an ILS
LORAN Long RANge Navigation -- a navigation system, originally for marine
use, which utilizes timing differences between multiple
low-frequency transmissions to provide accurate latitude/longitude
position information, at best to within 50 feet
MLS Microwave Landing System - not in use yet, but it's getting warmer...
Mode-A A transponder which does not give the controllers altitude information
Mode-C A transponder and encoding altimeter which together give air
traffic controllers altitude information
Mode-S A new "flavor" of transponder which features unique identification
per unit, the potential for low-speed up and down datalinks, and
"selective interrogation" triggered by ground facilities
NDB Non-Directional Beacon - an older type of electronic navigation
aid, basically a low-power AM radio station
OBS Omnibearing Selector - part of a VOR receiver system, which allows
the pilot to select a course to or from a VOR station
PAR Precision Approach Radar - a ground-radar based instrument approach
which provides both horizontal and vertical guidance
RMI Radio Magnetic Indicator - an ADF-like display with a pair of
pointers which might be attached to either VOR or ADF receivers
RNAV aRea Navigation - a VOR/DME based system which allows one to fly to
an arbitrary point, rather than to a point under which a VOR exists
Squawk A 4-digit (actually 4-octal-digit -> 12-bit) number which is
set into a transponder by the pilot to identify the aircraft
to air traffic controllers
Transponder an airborne transmitter which responds to a ground-based
interrogation signal to provide air traffic controllers with more
accurate and reliable position information than would be possible
with "passive" radar; a transponder may also provide air traffic
control with an aircraft's altitude
VOR VHF Omnidirectional Range - a common type of electronic navigation aid;
the acronym refers both to the ground station and the airborne
receiver.

 

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