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New IFF Solutions Provide Enhanced Situational Awareness for UAVs

By Mike Ball / 01 Feb 2021
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uAvionix IFF solutions

uAvionix has launched a full lineup of Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) solutions for small, tactical, and attritable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The new solutions are designed to provide enhanced situational awareness, leading to reduced fratricide, for UAVs participating in cross-troop, cross-service branch, and cross-nation collaborative operations.

The new product line includes two different micro IFF transponders, a certified GPS, a passive IFF receiver, a tactical display system, and a crypto appliqué emulator which allows for non-classified testing and demonstration. The IFF transponders are currently in certification testing with the Department of Defense (DoD) Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon System Identification Friend or Foe Program Office (AIMS PO), with the first Mark XIIB certification expected in the near future.

Funding for the development and certification of these new products has been provided internally as well as through Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) sponsorship from the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy in partnership with R Cubed Engineering (R3E) as the prime SBIR contract holder. uAvionix currently holds 15 FAA TSO and STC certifications, with an additional 4 pending approval in the FAA Aircraft Certification Office (ACO).

The line of IFF solutions includes:

RT-2087/ZPX-B Transponder – the lowest-SWaP offering for tactical UAVs in Groups 2-4, providing civil transponder Modes A, C, S, and ADS-B Out, as well as military Modes 1,2,3, and 5 levels 1 and 2.

RT-2087/ZPX-C Transponder – fFor larger UAS in Groups 3-5, incorporating two antennas for diversity, an additional 3dBm of transmit power, ADS-B IN and Mode 5 IN capability for Detect and Avoid (DAA) functionality.

ZPX-R Mode 5/ADS-B Receiver – for receive-only applications, providing a passive Mode 5 and ADS-B receiver capability for airborne, ground, or ship-based DAA and situational awareness.

ZPX-G GPS Receiver – developed from the uAvionix TSO-C145e truFYX baseline, providing fault detection and exclusion (FDE) for robust defense against satellite position errors.

ZPX-SK KIV Mode 5 Crypto Emulator – provides users of the uAvionix RT-2087/ZPX line of nanoIFF Mode 5 transponders with the ability to perform ground and airborne Mode 5 functional flight testing and verification when crypto appliqué keys are not available or desired.

To find out more about the new offerings, visit uAvionix’s website. The company has also recently published an article in Military Embedded Systems regarding micro IFF systems for tactical UAV use.

Maj Gen, USAF (ret) James Poss, founder of ASSURE, the FAA’s Drone Research Center of Excellence, commented: “AIMS-certified Mode V micro IFF transponders are a game changer for small and attritable remotely piloted aircraft. Without Mode V IFF, our own swarms of small UAVs will cause more confusion and fratricide on our side than the enemy will cause with their UAV fleet. Mode V on small UAVs wasn’t possible until now. They are now a “must have” and “can equip” for nearly anything that can fly.”

To learn more, contact uAvionix Corporation: Visit Website Send Message View Supplier Profile
Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion 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. Connect & Contact