uAvionix Ping ADS-B transceiver. (credit: uAvionix Corporation)
uAvionix Corporation, a top Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) avionics provider, reported the development and test of their tiniest ADS-B transceiver.
The ADS-B prototype module for drones is dime-sized and weighs less than 1 g. It has a transmission power ranging between 0.01 and 0.25 W. The module is designed to provide visibility to any aircraft fitted with ADS-B "IN" avionics from 1 to 10 miles away. It is small enough to be integrated directly into consumer and professional drones.
uAvionix is collaborating with the FAA and other partners under a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA) to test the unit, together with other uAvionix products.
A recent study published in January 2017 by The MITRE Corporation's Center for Advanced Aviation System Development (CAASD) envisioned a future world of very high traffic densities of drones operating with ADS-B onboard, and then sought to understand the overall picture of that. The study states that there is a nominal transmission power output between 0.01 and 0.1 W that when coupled with minimal drone traffic densities can lead to a compatible operation with the overall system.
We developed this product to show the world the art of the possible. We can't yet sell this device because the standards that were developed for ADS-B did not take into account the value of air-to-air ADS-B communications between small drones or between small drones and manned aircraft. It's literally not legal to transmit at these low power outputs. We aim to lead the discussion and development of those standards, and will work with any regulatory body to do so.
Paul Beard, CEO of uAvionix