uAvionix, a manufacturer of ADS-B solutions, has released a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) White Paper that outlines a spectrum mitigation approach called “Inert and Alert (I&A),” using an intelligent ADS-B transceiver system to safely integrate UAS into the national airspace.
Developed in response to concerns about over-saturation of ADS-B frequencies in the national airspace if too many drones are transmitting in close proximity, the “Inert and Alert” concept is simple: don’t transmit ADS-B signals (stay “Inert”) unless there is a safety threatening scenario – then do so with vigilance (“Alert”). While not transmitting, always receive ADS-B signals to know what’s going on around you.
The white paper explores this spectrum mitigation concept and proposes a number of scenarios for the I&A system. The Inert and Alert ADS-B transceiver will remain dormant in “listen mode” only until one or more of the following conditions is met:
- The UA detects nearby traffic within 7NM and within 2000ft of altitude.
- The UA exceeds 400ft Above Ground Level (AGL) in altitude.
- The UA breaches or approaches Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) boundaries.
- The UA breaches or approaches controlled airspace boundaries.
- The UA enters a “Lost Link” state where positive control by the PIC is compromised.
- The Remote Pilot-In-Command (PIC) manually commands transmission.
The scenarios identified above and described in this CONOPS require various forms of complexity and integration with onboard systems ranging from “standalone” capabilities requiring no integration to full integration with the autopilot and/or other sensors.
Read the complete white paper for a detailed understanding of ADS-B technology, the safety benefits for UAS, spectrum congestion concerns, and uAvionix’ Inert and Alert (I&A) Concept (opens in PDF).
uAvionix has developed some of this capability and will be participating in trials shortly. Furthermore, they are developing remote identification capabilities and an Inert and Alert system that fits with this concept.