Navigation systems allow aircraft to know their positions at any time. It is important to distinguish between the systems that assist pilots (navigational aids) to steer their aircraft, and the techniques that pilots use to navigate. The navigational aids constitute infrastructures capable to provide pilots all needed information in terms of position and guidance. On the other hand, the navigation techniques refer to the way in which pilots use these data about the position of the aircraft to navigate. In what follows, we are going to focus on the navigational aids systems.
The navigational aids systems can be classified in two main groups:
- Autonomous systems: Those systems that make only use of the means available in the aircraft to obtain information about its position.
- Non autonomous systems: Those external systems that provide the aircraft with the information about its position.
Table 11.1: Navigational aids systems.
Table 11.1 provides a (non necessarily exhaustive) taxonomy.