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TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF THE PHILIPPINES

1338 ARLEGUI ST., QUIAPO, MANILA

REPORT ON:

DISTANCE MEASURING EQUIPMENT (DME)

RIVERA, DANIEL
RIVERA, KEVIN MATTHEW
VILLANUEVA, RICHARD

ELECTRONICS NAVIGATIONAL AIDS


ECE122 EC42FA2
Engr. Rolluqui
Instructor

DISTANCE MEASURING EQUIPMENT (DME)


REPORT OUTLINE:
INTRODUCTION
HARDWARE
OPERATION
ADVANTAGES
DISADVANTAGES
Introduction
Distance measuring equipment (DME) is a transponder-based radio navigation
technology
that
measures slant
range distance
by
timing
the propagation
delay of VHF or UHF radio signals. DME often installed near VOR stations so as to provide
combined bearing and distance. When DME is installed with the VOR, it is referred to as a
VOR/DME. DME provides information on the distance from the aircraft to the ground station
and is used to establish position along an airway and also to establish hold points.
Brief History
Developed in Australia, it was invented by James "Gerry" Gerrand under the
supervision of Edward George "Taffy" Bowen while employed as Chief of the Division of
Radiophysics of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).
Another engineered version of the system was deployed by Amalgamated Wireless
Australasia Limited in the early 1950s operating in the 200 MHz VHF band. This Australian
domestic version was referred to by the Federal Department of Civil Aviation as DME(D) (or
DME Domestic), and the later international version adopted by ICAO as DME(I).
HARWARE
THREE BASIC COMPONENTS
DME antenna on the aircraft body

DME navigation display unit in aircraft cockpit

DME transmitter/receiver in the ground

Operation
DME provides distance (slant range) from the aircraft to the ground DME.

DME operates on Ultra High Frequency (UHF) which is between 962 to 1213 MHz.
DME works based on pulse techniques, where pulse means a single vibration of
electric current.
The aircrafts antenna sends out paired pulses at specific spacing.
The ground DME station receives the pulses and then responds with paired pulses at
the same spacing but a different frequency.
The aircraft receiver measures the time taken to transmit and receive the signal which
is transmitted into distance.
Besides that, the distance formula is also used by the DME receiver to calculate the
distance from DME station in Nautical Miles.
FREQUENCY BAND AND SIGNAL TRANSMISSION
Airborne:
1025 MHz 1150 MHz
(L band)
Ground:
63 MHz below Tx frequency 1025 1087 MHz
63 MHz above Tx frequency 1088 1150 MHz
This gives 126 channels but two codings are used (X and Y) which doubles the
capacity. Airborne transceiver transmits a pair of pulses (spaced at 12s for mode X and 30s
for mode Y). Ground transmitter receives the pulses, waits 50s and then transmits another
pair of pulses back to the aircraft.

Airborne transceiver measures the time between transmission and reception, subtracts
the 50s, multiplies by the speed of light and divides by 2. The ground station simply receives
a pulse pair, inserts the 50 s delay and retransmits it. This is very simple but gets more
complicated when we want to service more than one aircraft. We need a method of

distinguishing among the signals from up to 100 aircraft.This is done essentially by generating
a random set of pulses and correlating with the replies to determine the correct ones.

ACCURACY
The ICAO specification for DME is 0.5NM or 3% of distance

Tests done on Canadian DMEs show that their errors are less than 30m.
INTEGRITY
DME ground stations are equipped with monitors which can detect erroneous delays
and out-of-tolerance power output levels. These shut the system down if an error is detected.
AVAILABILITY
As with most systems there is a standby transmitter which takes over when the main
one fails. Availability is well above 99.9%
RELIABLILITY

Reliability of DMEs has come a long way in the past twenty years. The newer
all-digital DMEs like the King KN-64 or the Narco 890 are extremely reliable and
seldom require service. Older analog DMEs like the King KN-65 or Narco DME-190 is
far more troublesome and can be very expensive to repair. The older units also used
lots of power and needed lots of cooling. So if your older DME is on the fritz, you might
consider replacing it with a newer all-digital model.
Once you've flown with a DME, it's hard to imagine doing without it. Eventually,
GPS may supersede the need for DME, but we're not at that point yet.
ADVANTAGE AND DISADVANTAGES
Advantage

Disadvantage

DME is extremely accurate:


Provide continuous and accurate
indication
of the slant range distance.
Aircraft Handling Capability: The
transponder equipment should
be capable of handling 100 to
200 aircrafts.
Large coverage: DME facility
provides coverage up to 200 NM.

As VOR the DME is restricted to


line-of-sight transmission. For
example, the aircraft at altitude
below 10000 ft is unable to
detect the DME signal.
Errors and abnormal indications:
Slant range
Speed and time calculation
Ground system saturation
100 aircraft
System error

References:
http://www.southernavionics.com/blog/bid/50999/What-is-an-NDB-or-NonDirectional-Beacon
http://www.lewisaire.com/training/VOR-1.html#below
http://www.flightsimaviation.com/aviation_theory_21_VOR_Navigation_part_
1.html
http://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Non-Directional_Beacon
http://www.telecomabc.com/d/dme.html