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Open AccessArticle

Low Altitude Measurement Accuracy Improvement of the Airborne FMCW Radio Altimeters

1
Faculty of Aeronautics, Technical University of Košice, Rampová 7, 041 21 Košice, Slovakia
2
Department of Radio Engineering Systems, Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University, Professora Popova 5, Saint Petersburg 197376, Russia
3
Higher Technical School of Computer Engineering, University of Malaga, 29071 Malaga, Spain
4
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, Technical University of Košice, Letná 9, 042 00 Košice, Slovakia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2019, 8(8), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8080888
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 7 August 2019 / Accepted: 8 August 2019 / Published: 12 August 2019
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Abstract

This manuscript focuses on the analysis of a critical height of radio altimeters that can help for the development of new types of aeronautical radio altimeters with increased accuracy in measuring low altitudes. Altitude measurement accuracy is connected with a form of processing the difference signal of a radio altimeter, which carries information on the measured altitude. The definition of the altitude measurement accuracy is closely linked to the value of a critical height. Modern radio altimeters with digital processing of a difference signal could shift the limit of accuracy towards better values when the basics of the determination of critical height are thoroughly known. The theory results from the analysis and simulation of dynamic formation and the dissolution of the so-called stable and unstable height pulses, which define the range of the critical height and are presented in the paper. The theory is supported by a new method of derivation of the basic equation of a radio altimeter based on a critical height. The article supports the new theory of radio altimeters with the ultra-wide frequency deviation that lead to the increase the accuracy of a low altitude measurement. Complex mathematical analysis of the dynamic formation of critical height and a computer simulation of its course supported by the new form of the derivation of the basic equation of radio altimeter guarantee the correctness of the new findings of the systematic creation of unstable height pulses and the influence of their number on the altitude measurement accuracy. Application of the presented findings to the aviation practice will contribute to increasing the accuracy of the low altitude measurement from an aircraft during its landing and to increasing air traffic safety. View Full-Text
Keywords: FMCW radio altimeter; methodological error; critical height; altitude measurement accuracy; height pulses; ultra-wide frequency deviation FMCW radio altimeter; methodological error; critical height; altitude measurement accuracy; height pulses; ultra-wide frequency deviation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Labun, J.; Kurdel, P.; Češkovič, M.; Nekrasov, A.; Gamec, J. Low Altitude Measurement Accuracy Improvement of the Airborne FMCW Radio Altimeters. Electronics 2019, 8, 888.

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