SC-159, Navigation Equipment Using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)

Since it was established in 1985, RTCA SC-159 has produced and maintained a suite of minimum operational performance standards (MOPS) and minimum aviation system performance standards (MASPS) for aviation equipment using the Global Positioning System (GPS) as augmented by aircraft-based, ground-based, and satellite-based augmentation systems (ABAS, GBAS, and SBAS, respectively) as defined by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). These standards are in widespread use today but only address equipment that processes one legacy GPS signal – the GPS coarse/acquisition (C/A) code that is modulated on the link 1 (L1) carrier frequency of 1575.42 MHz.

GPS is presently being modernized, and the constellation is being populated with three new civil signals (L5, L2C, and L1C) on multiple frequencies with three of the four end-state civil signals (L1 C/A, L5, and L1C) being located within bands allocated for aeronautical radio-navigation services (ARNS). SBASs, such as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) in North America, are evolving to support dual-frequency user equipment. Additionally, other GNSS core constellations have been deployed (Russia's GLONASS) or will soon be deployed (Europe's Galileo and China's BeiDou). ICAO's Navigation System Panel (NSP) has already started updating Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) contained within Annex 10 to the International Convention on Civil Aviation to incorporate GPS and GLONASS modernization as well as the new core constellations. However, equipment standards are still required.



Co-Chair Chris Hegarty The MITRE Corporation
Co-Chair George Ligler PMEI, Inc.
Designated Federal Officer Ken Alexander Federal Aviation Administration
Secretary John Savoy Honeywell
Program Director Rebecca Morrison RTCA, Inc.


General Information

Terms of Reference July 13, 2017
Next Meeting Agenda October 27, 2017
2017 Meetings May 11, 2017
October 27, 2017


Recently Completed Documents

DO-368 Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for GPS/GLONASS L1-only Airborne Equipment July 2017
DO-253D Minimun Operational Performance Standards for GPS Local Area Augmentation System Airborne Equipment July 2017
DO-246E GNSS-Based Precision Approach Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS) SIgnal-in-Space Interface Control Document (ICD) July 2017
RTCA Paper No. 333-16/SC159-1055 Summary of Ligado Proposal Review December 2016


2016 Meetings March 7-11, 2016
October 14; 17-21, 2016
December 13, 2016
2015 Meetings March 20, 2015
October 19-23, 2015
2014 Meetings March 11-14, 2014
October 6-10, 2014


For additional meeting summaries, please contact the Program Director: Rebecca Morrison