We’ve written articles in the past about theUS’s American ADS-B aircraft tracking/locating/surveillance system and the FAA requirement for all aircraft flying in theUSto have this technology on board by the year 2020. Since we wrote those articles in May of 2012, manufacturers have introduced new ADS-B compliant equipment, Maxcraft has installed a few several systems, and our customers have gained some real-life experience of using this new technology. We’ve heard the same numbers from multiple informed sources: if every avionics shop started working full time on ADS-B installations they would have to maintain a rate of 125 installations per day in order to have all aircraft compliant by 2020. FAA says they cannot extend their deadline past 2020! Of course this doesn’t even account for the many Canadians that fly into the US. At Maxcraft we have been advising our southbound clients to upgrade to ADS-B whenever their aircraft are in for other avionics work. As you will see below there are many cost effective options available now to help you reap the benefits of free traffic, weather and preferential routing.
System Infrastructure Status
According to the FAA, 525 ADS-B ground stations were in service on June 30th and the full US network of 794 ground stations will be operational by early 2014. The existing ground stations are already broadcasting TIS-B and FIS-B information with good coverage over much of the United States with nationwide coverage expected by late 2013. For current ADS-B infrastructure status see: http://www.faa.gov/nextgen/flashmap/
ADS-B System Hardware Availability
Since the FAA finalized ADS-B performance standards in 2010, avionics manufacturers have been racing to bring compliant products to market. The following is a summary of avionics products availability today or expected soon.
Garmin GTX330/GTX33 Transponders:
The Extended Squitter (ES) versions of these transponders are ADS-B “Out” capable when interfaced with an approved GPS Position source. They are STC approved for installation into hundreds of GA aircraft models. Existing GTX330 and GTX33 transponders can be factory upgraded to add ADS-B capability. Availability – Now
Garmin GDL-88 UAT:
The GDL 88 is a dual-link Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) that provides ADS-B “Out” compliance, but also includes ADS-B “In” capability for subscription-free weather and advanced traffic display to the cockpit. It can be interfaced with an existing approved GPS position source or it is optionally available with an internal WAAS GPS receiver. This system is STC approved for installation into hundreds of GA aircraft. Availability – Now
The GDL 39 is a portable ADS-B “In” device which utilizes built-in Bluetooth capability to link to the iPad or aera795/796. This system does not have ADS-B out capability but works well on aircraft equipped with a separate ADS-B “Out” only system. Availability – Now
Freeflight Ranger 978 UAT:
FreeFlight produces a family of lightweight ADS-B devices. The FDL-978-TX Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) is a fully compliant ADS-B “Out” device with “In” capability. Availability – Now
Trig Avionics TT31 Transponder:
This transponder which was designed to fit into the popular KT 76A mounting tray and is ADS-B “Out” capable when interfaced with an approved GPS Position source. An FAA STC approves its installation into a number of common GA aircraft. Availability – Now
Aspen Avionics ARX100/ATX200/ATX200G:
Aspenoffers a full line of ADS-B solutions. The ARX100 is a certified dual band ADS-B “In” receiver. The ATX200 is similar to the ARX100 but adds ADS-B “Out” capability on 978 MHZ. The ATX200G adds a WAAS GPS Receiver for a fully integrated “In & Out” solution. Availability – Soon
Bendix/King KT74 Transponder :
This new transponder was designed as a slide-in replacement for existing KT76A/KT78A transponders and is ADS-B “Out” capable when interfaced with an approved GPS Position source. Availability – Soon
Avidyne AXP340 Transponder:
The new AXP-340 transponder was designed as a slide-in replacement for existing KT76A/KT78A transponders is ADS-B “Out” capable when interfaced with an approved GPS Position source. Availability – Soon
Rockwell Collins has announced their plans to meet the latest ADS-B requirements by introducing a new TDR-94/94D-5XX transponder which will be available by late 2013.
Honeywell Primus II: Honeywell recently announced an ADS-B “Out” upgrade program for aircraft equipped with the Honeywell Primus II avionics. Availability – March 2014
Real Life ADS-B Experience – read more about it on our August newsletter here
It’s one thing to talk about technology and the features it should bring to pilots, but the real test is to see how well it actually functions in the air, and in real-life situations. Last year, Daryl and Steve attended an FAA seminar where it was stated that although compliance to ADS-B regs is mandatory by 2020, controllers would be giving preferential treatment to ADS-B equipped aircraft immediately. This makes perfect sense because from a controller’s perspective ADS-B is really a certificate of positional accuracy on an ATC scope. As you can see, there are many ways to get your aircraft compliant. ADS-B is somewhat complex, so feel free to drop in to Maxcraft for a chat on how ADS-B could work for you.
Maxcraft Avionics is a leader in airplane and helicopter avionic system upgrades like the Garmin GTN series, including installation of everything from a basic VHF Radio and simple Garmin portable GPS all the way to TCAS, EFIS, and autopilot systems. We have the largest avionics facility in Canada and we have over 20,000 unique part numbers in our in inventory to repair your aircraft or upgrade your cockpit.