WAAS up? expert explanation for the rest of us, puhleeze? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 4:25 pm Thread Starter
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WAAS up? expert explanation for the rest of us, puhleeze?

OK, I have my new garmin 2730, one of the settings asks if I want to enable WAAS. I'm having trouble figuring out from the manuals, et al, what the hell this is, and whether I want to change the default from "off" to "on?" The only time it asked was when I was indoors.

I think it involves more satellites, hence closer readings/tighter accuracy and maybe faster readings, but I am not sure.

Explanation and advice, pretty-please?

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post #2 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 4:32 pm
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From Garmin's web site:
You've heard the term WAAS, seen it on packaging and ads for GarminŽ products, and maybe even know it stands for Wide Area Augmentation System. Okay, so what the heck is it? Basically, it's a system of satellites and ground stations that provide GPS signal corrections, giving you even better position accuracy. How much better? Try an average of up to five times better. A WAAS-capable receiver can give you a position accuracy of better than three meters 95 percent of the time. And you don't have to purchase additional receiving equipment or pay service fees to utilize WAAS.

The origins of WAAS

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) are developing the WAAS program for use in precision flight approaches. Currently, GPS alone does not meet the FAA's navigation requirements for accuracy, integrity, and availability. WAAS corrects for GPS signal errors caused by ionospheric disturbances, timing, and satellite orbit errors, and it provides vital integrity information regarding the health of each GPS satellite.

How it Works

WAAS consists of approximately 25 ground reference stations positioned across the United States that monitor GPS satellite data. Two master stations, located on either coast, collect data from the reference stations and create a GPS correction message. This correction accounts for GPS satellite orbit and clock drift plus signal delays caused by the atmosphere and ionosphere. The corrected differential message is then broadcast through one of two geostationary satellites, or satellites with a fixed position over the equator. The information is compatible with the basic GPS signal structure, which means any WAAS-enabled GPS receiver can read the signal.

Who benefits from WAAS?

Currently, WAAS satellite coverage is only available in North America. There are no ground reference stations in South America, so even though GPS users there can receive WAAS, the signal has not been corrected and thus would not improve the accuracy of their unit. For some users in the U.S., the position of the satellites over the equator makes it difficult to receive the signals when trees or mountains obstruct the view of the horizon. WAAS signal reception is ideal for open land and marine applications. WAAS provides extended coverage both inland and offshore compared to the land-based DGPS (differential GPS) system. Another benefit of WAAS is that it does not require additional receiving equipment, while DGPS does.

Other governments are developing similar satellite-based differential systems. In Asia, it's the Japanese Multi-Functional Satellite Augmentation System (MSAS), while Europe has the Euro Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS). Eventually, GPS users around the world will have access to precise position data using these and other compatible systems.

The page also includes the Garmin models that are WAAS enabled. http://www.garmin.com/aboutGPS/waas.html

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post #3 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 4:45 pm
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Turn it on. It makes your GPS more accurate. It uses ground stations to improve accuracy


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post #4 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 6:02 pm
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waas incorporates LORAN C signals to achieve closer accuracy, with Sats signal you wont notice much difference on Hwys makes incredible differences on water and in the air. Will keep you off a reef or sand bar.

Since 911 many changes have taken place and not all of them are good, more Big Brother controls. as we now have a BLACK BOXes on Vessels as do airliners, we also have friend or foe box as military vessels and planes. They are actually ID boxes, but let the signal go out or turn it off and watch the Coast Guard go crazy, If you dont get it working as soon as possible they will shut down your operation until it is repaired. Makes life wonderful LOL!

Anyway as to your question it is up to you, you will find better accuracy!
I love GPS, I have six of them, three different ones on my laptop, one in the car, the bike and my fishing boat.

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post #5 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 7:54 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOGILLS2
waas incorporates LORAN C signals to achieve closer accuracy, -------------------------------.
Where did you find any information on that? The last I heard was that the government was debating dropping Loran support, and 2002 one of the debates was whether or not Loran could be used to supplement GPS as an ALTERNATE method of transmitting WAAS information. WAAS was a seperate system, with dedicated stations for it, not LORAN stations.

Have you seen something to show that they did decide to keep LORAN working past the next very few years? It's neck has been on the chopping block for some time now, keeps getting extended, but I have seen no concrete evidence that it has been saved from eminent demise.

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post #6 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 8:04 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOGILLS2
waas incorporates LORAN C signals to achieve closer accuracy, with Sats signal you wont notice much difference on Hwys makes incredible differences on water and in the air. Will keep you off a reef or sand bar.
Are you sure, Floyd?

When I was doing my private pilot and instrument rating, the stuff I was reading said LORAN was being phased out in favor of GPS with WAAS.


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post #7 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 9:01 pm
 
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It's my understanding that WAAS uses 4 satellites simultaneously to pin-point your location, speed, etc., instead of just one or two.

Disabling WAAS will speed up screen redraws, and calculations supposedly. Albeit minor on these newer fast units. I turned WAAS on and left it there because it sounds like a good thing to me.
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post #8 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 9:09 pm
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No Joe,

You're mixing up different things you've been told. In order to get better accuracy, and a the ability to track direction, speed, altitude, you need 4 satellites. 3 satellites will give you 2D (point on a map), but you need 4 to do any more with a GPS. The number of sateliites and WAAS being on has nothing to do with recalculation and redraws.


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post #9 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 9:41 pm
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I very well be wrong the information I recieved was from our tech department. Technition explained it to me as using loran or land based radio signals to pinpoint gps along with sats. which made sense to me since loran was established.

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post #10 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 9:55 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
It's my understanding that WAAS uses 4 satellites simultaneously to pin-point your location, speed, etc., instead of just one or two.

Disabling WAAS will speed up screen redraws, and calculations supposedly. Albeit minor on these newer fast units. I turned WAAS on and left it there because it sounds like a good thing to me.
No Joe, wrong on that one. GPS cannot work on less than three satellites, and usually just about any receiver is working on at least 4-5, probably more.

If a GPS receiver is picking up only two sattelites, it can pinpoint your positionn to TWO possible ones, and the unit will not show that, just say it is "accuiring satellites". The third is needed to discriminate between the two, and accurize the determined position. More satellites accurizes the position further.

WAAS uses seperate earth bound receivers which are at accurately known positions to evaluate the satellite signals being received, and if an error is detected correction signals are sent out, your WAAS capable receiver detects those corrections.

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post #11 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 9:58 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOGILLS2
I very well be wrong the information I recieved was from our tech department. Technition explained it to me as using loran or land based radio signals to pinpoint gps along with sats. which made sense to me since loran was established.
It is land based receivers, special ones set up for WAAS. These monitor the GPS satellite signals, and if an error is detected between it's known position on the surface and the GPS signal derived position, an error correction signal is transmitted. A WAAS capable receiver picks up that and corrects it's display.

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post #12 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 9:59 pm Thread Starter
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OK, I enabled the WAAS setting, it now tells me how many MILIMETERS away the guy was that laughed at me when I stepped in diesel fuel and "auto parked" the bike two days ago-- breaking off the bolt on my jpeg, has informed the black gub'mint helicopters how many times I was late on my student loan payments, and made the metal plate in my forehead vibrate in sync with the microchip that the aliens implanted when I was abducted so that I hear calypso music all the time.

Dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyooooooooooo.....


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post #13 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 10:03 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
Are you sure, Floyd?

When I was doing my private pilot and instrument rating, the stuff I was reading said LORAN was being phased out in favor of GPS with WAAS.
That is correct, but LORAN is still working, and the goverment agencies in control of it are still evaluating either upgrading it as a backup to GPS, or finally pulling the plug on it.

I just did a little searching, and an evaluation report is supposed to be released by the end of this year. The only thing that they have said so far is that it will not be shut off without a 6 month warning period. Sure sounds like it is on it's last leg to me.

One advantage LOAN has is that it is lower frequency, and much higher power transmitters, so harder to jam than GPS, so MAY possibly stay around as a fall back nav system for military use.

There is also LAAS, which is Local Area Augmentation System, for instrument approaches. Works much like WAAS, but is based on the airport, monitoring the GPS system and broadcasting error correction for an approx. 20 mile radius around the airport. This is for high precision approaches to the airport. Don't know how many of those there are, but they were just starting to install a couple of these when I stopped flying.

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post #14 of 14 Old Sep 10th, 2006, 10:10 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
No Joe,

You're mixing up different things you've been told. In order to get better accuracy, and a the ability to track direction, speed, altitude, you need 4 satellites. 3 satellites will give you 2D (point on a map), but you need 4 to do any more with a GPS. The number of sateliites and WAAS being on has nothing to do with recalculation and redraws.
3 satellites minimum works for 2D, as you said. Even with multiple satellites though, altitude information is far less accurate than horizontal. If I remember correctly, horizontal position with commercial grade receivers is at best 3 meters (approx. 10 feet), but altitude readings cannot be depended on for better than 30 meters, nearly plus/minus 100 feet.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
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EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
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