What is PPU on Airbus A320? (Position Pick)

Position Pick, abbreviated as PPU, is a critical system on the Airbus A320 aircraft. It is responsible for accurately determining the position of the aircraft on the runway during takeoff and landing. The PPU works in conjunction with other navigation systems to provide precise information to the flight crew, ensuring safe and efficient operations. In this blog post, we will explore the functionality and importance of the Position Pick system on the Airbus A320.

How Does Position Pick Work?

The Position Pick system on the Airbus A320 works by utilizing a set of sensors and antennas to determine the position of the aircraft on the runway. These sensors include GPS (Global Positioning System), IRS (Inertial Reference System), and DME (Distance Measuring Equipment). The GPS provides accurate position data by receiving signals from multiple satellites, while the IRS uses accelerometers and gyroscopes to measure the aircraft’s movement. The DME measures the distance between the aircraft and ground-based navigation beacons.

The Position Pick system combines the data from these sensors to calculate the precise position of the aircraft on the runway. It takes into account factors such as the aircraft’s speed, altitude, heading, and the distance to nearby navigation beacons. By continuously updating the position information, the PPU ensures that the flight crew has accurate real-time data during all phases of flight.

Why is Position Pick Important?

Position Pick plays a crucial role in the safe and efficient operation of the Airbus A320. Here are several reasons why it is important:

1. Runway Safety: The accurate determination of the aircraft’s position on the runway is essential for maintaining runway safety. It allows the flight crew to ensure that the aircraft is aligned properly during takeoff and landing, minimizing the risk of runway incursions or other safety hazards.

2. Navigation Accuracy: The Position Pick system provides precise position information to the flight crew, which is crucial for accurate navigation during flight. This includes maintaining the correct flight path, avoiding obstacles, and adhering to air traffic control instructions. The accuracy of the system ensures that the aircraft can operate efficiently within the assigned airspace.

3. Emergency Situations: In the event of an emergency, such as an engine failure or a medical diversion, the Position Pick system helps the flight crew quickly assess the available landing options. By knowing the exact position of the aircraft, the crew can make informed decisions to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.

4. Automated Systems: The Position Pick system is also vital for the operation of automated systems on the Airbus A320. It provides accurate positioning data to various systems, such as the autopilot and autothrust, enabling them to function correctly. Without reliable position information, these automated systems may not be able to perform their intended functions efficiently.

Overall, the Position Pick system plays a fundamental role in the safe and efficient operation of the Airbus A320. Without this critical system, the flight crew would not have accurate real-time positioning information, potentially leading to operational inefficiencies and compromised safety.

For More: What is HMU on Airbus A320? (Hydromechanical Unit)