New Dime-Sized ADS-B Tested for Drone Operations

Published: 31 Jan 2017
uAvionix Ping UAT ADS-B Transceiver

uAvionix “Ping UAT” transceiver

uAvionix Corporation has confirmed the development and testing of its smallest ADS-B transceiver yet, the “Ping UAT”. Weighing less than 1 gram, this dime-sized ADS-B prototype module has been developed for drones with transmission power between 0.01-0.25 Watts and could provide visibility to any aircraft equipped with ADS-B “IN” avionics from 1 – 10 miles away. The module is small enough to integrate directly into professional and consumer-level drones.

uAvionix is working with the FAA and other partners under a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement (CRDA) to test the unit, along with other uAvionix products.

A recent study published in January 2017 by The MITRE Corporation’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development (CAASD) imagined a future world of very high traffic densities of drones operating with ADS-B onboard. The study sought to understand the implications of such a scenario and suggests that there is a nominal transmission power output between 0.01 and 0.1 Watts that, when coupled with limited drone traffic densities, can result in a compatible operation with the system as a whole.

“We developed this product to show the world the art of the possible,” said Paul Beard, CEO of uAvionix. “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.”

Read uAvionix’ blog post on the case for low power ADS-B >

Posted by Mike Ball Mike is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passions for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years.

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