Aircraft Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) - اسأل الطيار ask pilot


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الثلاثاء، 7 يوليو 2020

Aircraft Automatic Direction Finder (ADF)

Aircraft Automatic Direction Finder (ADF)

Automatic direction finding (ADF) is an electronic aid to navigation that identifies the relative bearing of an aircraft from a radio beacon transmitting in the MF or LF bandwidth, such as an Non-Directional Beacon or commercial radio broadcast station.

An automatic direction finder (ADF) operates off of a ground signal transmitted from a NDB. Early radio direction finders (RDF) used the same principle. A vertically polarized antenna was used to transmit LF frequency radio waves in the 190 kHz to 535 kHz range. A receiver on the aircraft was tuned to the transmission frequency of the NDB. Using a loop antenna, the direction to (or from) the antenna could be determined by monitoring the strength of the signal received. This was possible because a radio wave striking a loop antenna broadside induces a null signal. When striking it in the plane of the loop, a much stronger signal is induced. The NDB signals were modulated with unique Morse code pulses that enabled the pilot to identify the beacon to which he or she was navigating.
Aircraft Automatic Direction Finder (ADF)
With RDF systems, a large rigid loop antenna was installed inside the fuselage of the aircraft. The broadside of the antenna was perpendicular to the aircraft’s longitudinal axis. The pilot listened for variations in signal strength of the LF broadcast and maneuvered the aircraft so a gradually increasing null signal was maintained. This took them to the transmitting antenna. When over flown, the null signal gradually faded as the aircraft became farther from the station. The increasing or decreasing strength of the null signal was the only way to determine if the aircraft was flying to or from the NDB. A deviation left or right from the course caused the signal strength to sharply increase due to the loop antenna’s receiving properties.
The ADF improved on this concept. The broadcast frequency range was expanded to include MF up to about 1800 kHz. The heading of the aircraft no longer needed to be changed to locate the broadcast transmission antenna. In early model ADFs, a rotatable antenna was used instead. The antenna rotated to seek the position in which the signal was null. The direction to the broadcast antenna was shown on an azimuth scale of an ADF indicator in the flight deck.
In modern ADF systems, an additional antenna is used to remove the ambiguity concerning whether the aircraft is heading to or from the transmitter. It is called a sense antenna. The reception field of the sense antenna is omnidirectional. When combined with the fields of the loop antenna, it forms a field with a single significant null reception area on one side. This is used for tuning and produces an indication in the direction toward the ADF station at all times. The onboard ADF receiver needs only to be tuned to the correct frequency of the broadcast transmitter for the system to work.

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