This dissertation presents the methodologies used to develop and validate protective zoning requirements for Microwave Landing System (MLS) azimuth and elevation guidance signals. Typically, the aviation community refers to these protective zoning requirements as critical areas. The purpose of defining critical areas about the azimuth and elevation antennas is to protect the radiated guidance signals from multipath errors caused by electromagnetic scattering of these signals by transient vehicles and aircraft.
A method for applying the Federal Aviation Administration MLS Mathematical Model to characterize the guidance signal errors caused by interfering aircraft located ahead of the azimuth or elevation antenna is presented. This method was used to generate error-contour plots characterizing the guidance signal errors caused along a standard precision approach profile as a function of interfering aircraft type, location, and orientation. Error budgets were developed, including allocations to the error permitted to be caused by interfering aircraft. Based on these allocations, error-contour plots were analyzed to determine the areas that bound all of the interfering aircraft locations that have the potential to cause guidance-signal error that exceed the allocations. Methods for adapting these criteria to protect non-standard, computed-centerline, and advanced approach procedures are presented.
The dissertation provides azimuth and elevation critical-area criteria for basic, computed-centerline, and advanced MLS procedures. Also, it presents the status of critical-area criteria development for Precision Distance Measuring Equipment. The dissertation recommends that validation and refinement of the criteria be performed as indicated by operational experience.