Improving GPS-based landing system performance using an empirical barometric altimeter confidence bound

Shau Shiun Jan, Demoz Gebre-Egziabher, Todd Walter, Per Enge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This paper develops an empirical confidence bound for barometric altimeter altitude errors and shows how this bound may improve the performance of GPS-based approach and landing systems. This empirical bound is developed using historical meteorological data collected at a set of geographically diverse locations over a thirty year period. The confidence bound developed is shown to provide a Gaussian overbound on altimeter altitude errors in standard atmospheric conditions between a 105 and 106 confidence level. This confidence bound is integrated into the standard methodology for analyzing the performance of GPS-based landing systems and the results of a performance trade study using the confidence bound are presented. The results show that incorporating the empirical barometric altimeter confidence bound provides an increase in the oterminous United States (CONUS) service volume for lateral precision with vertical guidance (LPV) type approaches. While this increase is approximately 2% for an L1 single-frequency GPS user, it jumps to roughly 40% for an L5 single-frequency user.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-146
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Satellite Navigation Product Teams.


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