Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Aviation Systems

Major Professor

Robert B. Richards

Committee Members

Richard J. Ranaudo, George W. Masters Jr.


Naval aviation is on the brink of taking advantage of a 12 year old capability. Naval commercial derivative aircraft have had the ability to navigate in instrument meteorological conditions using global positioning technology for nearly as long as civil commercial-for-hire aircraft. However, tactical naval aircraft, like the E-2C Hawkeye, are now only beginning to obtain and install the necessary technology to meet federal aviation regulations for satellite based area navigation.

Worldwide airspace controlling agencies have mandated the use of navigation equipment that meets highly specific performance standards prior to entry in required navigation performance airspace. Aircraft not compliant with these standards are denied flight clearance or experience clearance delays. The Department of Defense has issued policy guidance that allows military aviation organizations to self-certify satellite based navigation technologies to meet required navigation performance standards.

In many ways, military navigation technologies far exceed the performance requirements for civil and international airspace use. These technologies, however, are highly specific in their mission orientation and must demonstrate their compatibility with civil aviation standards.

This study focused on the source and the specifics of navigation performance requirements. Domestic and international regulations and policies were reviewed as they pertain to civil aviation, and then applied to military aviation. Critical technical standards documents were reviewed to determine the best strategy for complying with civil and international regulations. Lessons learned from previous E-2C navigation system evaluations were also reviewed and incorporated within this compliance strategy. Compliance and self-certification responsibilities belong to aircraft specific program managers within the Navy’s acquisition organization.

Sophisticated navigation systems incorporating satellite positioning technology require a tailored approach toward compliance demonstration. Military receivers with precise positioning capability satisfy many of the required availability, accuracy and containment standards. To satisfy civil requirements, correctly keyed, military navigation systems may be evaluated according to standards typically applied to the most highly augmented standard civil systems. This thesis contains a comprehensive list of compliance items selected for their applicability to the E-2C Hawkeye mission.

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