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Low cost ADS-B options for VFR aircraft


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Looks like finally the push for cheap "be seen" hardware is coming from CASA and now RAA

 

The CASA paper is good reading to make sure you understand the ops and the different types. There are a few devices now popping up for EC / TABS operation

Here is one of them

It is set so that when you select Australia it drops off the UAT system and only enables the 1090 system we use here. The Flarm wont work here because in Europe its on the 800mhz band but its much lower here

Pretty reasonable price too..seeing it has the high spec GPS in it used for ADS-B about AU$900.00 works with Ozrunways and Avplan

 

 

https://uavionix.com/products/skyecho/

https://www.uavionix.com.au/skyecho2/

https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/default/files/advisory-circular-91-23-ads-b-enhancing-situational-awareness.pdf

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Just ordered one, I like that it is portable. Tablet EFB, ELT and SkyEcho2, they all fit in the flight bag so can use in any aircraft.

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How many of us have Dynon or Garmin EFIS gear that is approved for ADS-B elsewhere, yet CAsA have ignored that.

 

Best I can tell, you still need an uber-expensive GNSS position source to drive your transponder if you have such an EFIS...

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They could use this ADS-B stuff to free us from restrictions or to police existing restrictions harder.

On historical evidence, the latter will happen. There have been a couple of guys I know who inadvertently had transponders on and who were pinged for airspace " violations", the said airspace having been unused since DC4's ceased to be used, about 50 years ago. ( Not that even those DC4's actually used the airspace even then. It was the theoretical performance of a DC4 with one engine out that was used on the airspace maps.)

I reckon its a violation of my rights to exclude me from UNUSED controlled airspace.

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Kyle Thanks for your post i had been watching the skyecho for years but had given up expecting CASA to do something sensible.

Cheers

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The Sky Echo is only 20 watts so its low power. It would be really good for a option to be able to connect a external antenna to give better range... It could still remain portable of course but this solves placement in the cockpit...and lets face it how many are going to be swapping to different aircraft...most would be fitted to each aircraft...for 900 bucks I would fit one to each aircraft

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The one I'm looking at - for certified aircraft anyway - is the TailBeaconX tied to an AV-30 to replace the AH. For the price of just a transponder, you get a multi-function EFIS that is TSO'd to replace your AH, and a 1090 ADS-B capable transponder & GNSS source for $7,200AUD. That's great value based on current prices of things like the GNX-375 which goes for $13K+ though in fairness the GNS-375 gives you a GNSS Navigator as well, which in turn gives you sole-means nav for IFR operations if you're that way inclined. If you want to go the AV-30/TailBeaconX route, and add a navigator, your total cost would be $7200(AV30/TailBeaconX)+$7600(GPS175)=$14,800

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Hi Mark, thanks for posting, very interesting. (Love your new Avatar BTW ;-)

So it looks like devices such as the SkyEcho2 do not (never will?) suffice for class C transit - if recreational pilots/aircraft are ever allowed it. Still, as well as the comfort of conspicuity, it seems that they do make Class E, available to us, if and when needed. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out in practice but I do like the idea of being visible to the TCAS of commercial craft - as well as to other amateurs if EC (electronic conspicuity) gadgets are widely adopted.

 

 

 

From the CASA document linked to by Mark in the original post:

 

(As I understand it, the SkyEcho2 would be regarded (in the table below) as an Integrated TABS; SIL=1 Is that right, Mark?)

 

 

 

 

302390250_VFRAIRCRAFT.png.53d425221cc26500009a1c2f3c4a8d8e.png900391464_TABLE1.png.ab81d5b66260b6645b680b42c16a3b08.png

 

 

 

https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/default/files/advisory-circular-91-23-ads-b-enhancing-situational-awareness.pdf

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Yes Gary

 

Thats how I take it..although its a close range device out to say 10 to 40 miles direct from aircraft to aircraft..depending on your height will depend on whether you come up on the ATC ADS-B system of ground stations. Being only a 20Watt transmitter compared to 200 or 250 watt ones in normal transponders their range is reduced of course. Its mainly for the see and be seen part. Certainly not certified for normal controlled airspace but then again the price is dramatically different. I do like that new Avionix TailbeaconX thats nice and also not extravagant in price US$2500 is cheap compared to the rest..even with the AV30 at US$1500 added to it. Certainly a lot less than anything else on the market

 

https://uavionix.com/products/tailbeaconx/#features

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Hi Mark, thanks for posting, very interesting. (Love your new Avatar BTW ;-)

...

...

...

...

(As I understand it, the SkyEcho2 would be regarded (in the table below) as an Integrated TABS; SIL=1 Is that right, Mark?)

 

 

 

 

[ATTACH=full]54569[/ATTACH][ATTACH=full]54570[/ATTACH]

 

 

 

https://www.casa.gov.au/sites/default/files/advisory-circular-91-23-ads-b-enhancing-situational-awareness.pdf

 

Won't the SkyEcho2 be regarded as an EC device (ie no TCAS) device, not Integrated TABS?? It has no transponder functionality.

 

From their own website: The SkyEcho2 portable ADS-B transceiver has been accepted by CASA as an approved Electronic Conspicuity (EC) Device as an enhancement to "See and Be Seen" from 16th July, 2020.

See also Page 31 ff from the above CASA circular.

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TCAS is a separate system

Its a TABS device so will be picked up by other ADSB and also the ADSB ground station if within range of that depending on your height. it puts out the ID code you get for a transponder so its on the AirServices system as registered so if they see you on the ADSB network they know who you are and the height and position and speed as supplied by the onboard GPS info but also to locally flying aircraft with ADSB in capability..that will include things like Stratux and other devices which only ever receive ADSB data..the Sky Echo actually transmits that data to identify you but at 1/10 of the usual power so its only a much shorter range device

 

Just did some further looking into TCAS...seems TCAS will pick it up because its a SIL-1 device

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Why bother with antique GPS only receivers? Modern GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) receivers use all 4 major systems simultaneously giving access to anywhere from 35 to 65 satellites in view. You aren't going to run out of satellites. The 4 major systems are GPS (USA), Beidou (China - at least as good as GPS), Galileo (Europe) and Glonass (Russia). All are now global.

ADSB is obsolete before full deployment.

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Some interesting information and discussion on the SkyEcho2 (in the UK) here:

 

https://www.flyer.co.uk/skyecho-2-and-other-ads-b-devices-cleared-for-use/

https://forums.flyer.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=112681

 

 

By the way, OzRunways is planning enhanced integration with the uAvionix SkyEcho2 in an update coming soon.

 

I got this message from Rowan Willson from OzRunways support today:

 

"Currently you should see all of the ADS-B IN tracks from it, and you have the ability to configure the SkyEcho through its own internal website (you can load in Safari) to set the callsign and code, etc (it's transmission settings). So right now you could actually call it 'full' support.

However in v8.4 we're bringing out some more features to be able to also configure the device in-app by replacing the little traffic icon at the top of the map screen with a pop-down menu with some options for quick configuration of both OzRunways traffic and any external devices (in particular SkyEcho) if connected. So call that Full++ support if you want! A lot easier to configure and see its input/output status and so on.

Cheers, Rowan"

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A question when flying with a mode C transponder and SkyEcho when in range of radar and adsb ground station. This will appear to ATC like two aircraft together? Can ATC see a difference between electronic conspicuity devices and adsb out transponders?

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ATC will only see the transponder return when in range of both receivers. Instruments putting out SIL 1 will be received by the ADS B ground station but filtered out of the feed to ATC as not having sufficient integrity to serve as the basis of a surveillance service. They will be seen by other airborne or ground based ADS B receivers and TCAS.

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Instruments putting out SIL 1 will be received by the ADS B ground station but filtered out of the feed to ATC as not having sufficient integrity to serve as the basis of a surveillance service.

 

Really? So the SkyEcho2 will be invisible to ATC? (Even in range of an ADS-B ground-station?) That seems to contradict what is claimed on the uAvionics Australia web site, no?

 

https://www.uavionix.com.au/skyecho2/

 

"SkyEcho2 is the world’s first commercially available portable ADS-B IN and OUT system. Complete with an integrated TSO certified SBAS GPS and barometric altimeter, SkyEcho2 transmits your aircraft location, altitude, and identification via 1090MHz ADS-B, enabling you to be seen by nearby aircraft and Air Traffic Control (ATC) equipped with an ADS-B receiver."

 

This is what the CASA AC has to say:

 

 

AC 91-23 v1.0 - ADS-B for enhancing situational awareness

 

 

"SIL means Source Integrity Limit. SIL is a numeric value between 0 and 3 that indicates the GNSS position source’s probability of exceeding the reported integrity value. It is one of the components of a standard ADS-B position message. A SIL number of 2 or 3 indicates that the GNSS position source information is suitable for ATC separation, while a SIL number of 1 indicates that the GNSS position source information is suitable for situational awareness only and is not suitable for ATC separation. SIL is a static (unchanging) value, normally specified by the equipment manufacturer and normally set by the installer at the time of equipment installation."

 

When they "for situational awareness only" do they not refer to the situational awareness of the controller?

(even if he or she does not have the confidence to issue separation directives)

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Yes, Mark, as far as I can work out, the filtering happens at levels less than SIL1, that is SIL 0 and below.

 

I think being visible to ATC could be very useful, though. They might even be prepared to help with Flight Following and the occasional traffic safety alert.

And, of course, they'd be better able to help out in a crisis.

However, I'm pretty doubtful as to just how much coverage will be possible at the levels we fly at, especially given the low power of the EC units.

I wonder if anyone has done any testing of this. Anyway, it only becomes legal tomorrow.

And, as of now, the SkyEcho2 is the one, and only, bit of gear that's approved for the role.

 

Below is a recent map for 5,000'. You can see that there are quite a few blank areas. Particularly along the NSW coastal strip.

And presumably this is based on more powerful transmitters than are allowed in EC (Electronic Conspicuity) devices.

But, for all I know, that might not matter that much. It may be the ground stations will be able to see those 20watt units just as well.

 

But what they are really designed for, of course, is to be visible to other (especially commercial air traffic).

I understand that older TCAS units are not ADS-B (in) capable but most modern ones are.

But I gather that many (most?) professionally operated aircraft have some way of displaying all ADS-B targets (SIL 1 and above.)

But I would love to find out just how much we could rely on commercial transport being able to see a SkyEcho2 equipped aircraft.

And, maybe even more to the point, especially in the Williamtown area, do military aircraft have that capability.

Any ideas?

 

By the way, yes, the tailBeaconX is the way to go if you want to get serious about your conspicuity - and have hopes of entering Class C.

But, apart from being 4 times more expensive, I understand that it requires you to have a standard Mode C or Mode S transponder already; it's job is just to add ADS-B out to it, right? And, oh yeah, I think it helps to have a tail light. Only your fanciest rag and tube jobs come with a tail light. LOL

 

ADS-B-5000ft-Coverage-768x652.jpg.40fde9282a9e34804c953a5832e5457d.jpg

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The TailbeaconX is a transponder you dont need another one. It is 250W output the same as a regular one but it also has the satellite ADSB capability and the tail light beacon as well US$2500 but currently only USA approved but I would imagine no drama here as it will meet FCC spec which means it will get a ACMA tick here no problem

 

I would imagine all military aircraft would be TCAS fitted. From 5000ft 20w will work to the ground stations I am pretty sure as line of sight makes a huge difference at 1090 mhz its only path loss that is the issue and from experience I dont believe it would be that big a deal.....ATC will see you. I dont know if ATC have the Aireon system in use...I would imagine they do especially for overseas flights. Its just FR25 and others that dont get that data possibly

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Yes, Mark, as far as I can work out, the filtering happens at levels less than SIL1, that is SIL 0 and below.

 

I think being visible to ATC could be very useful, though. They might even be prepared to help with Flight Following and the occasional traffic safety alert.

And, of course, they'd be better able to help out in a crisis.

However, I'm pretty doubtful as to just how much coverage will be possible at the levels we fly at, especially given the low power of the EC units.

I wonder if anyone has done any testing of this. Anyway, it only becomes legal tomorrow.

And, as of now, the SkyEcho2 is the one, and only, bit of gear that's approved for the role.

 

Below is a recent map for 5,000'. You can see that there are quite a few blank areas. Particularly along the NSW coastal strip.

And presumably this is based on more powerful transmitters than are allowed in EC (Electronic Conspicuity) devices.

But, for all I know, that might not matter that much. It may be the ground stations will be able to see those 20watt units just as well.

 

But what they are really designed for, of course, is to be visible to other (especially commercial air traffic).

I understand that older TCAS units are not ADS-B (in) capable but most modern ones are.

But I gather that many (most?) professionally operated aircraft have some way of displaying all ADS-B targets (SIL 1 and above.)

But I would love to find out just how much we could rely on commercial transport being able to see a SkyEcho2 equipped aircraft.

And, maybe even more to the point, especially in the Williamtown area, do military aircraft have that capability.

Any ideas?

 

By the way, yes, the tailBeaconX is the way to go if you want to get serious about your conspicuity - and have hopes of entering Class C.

But, apart from being 4 times more expensive, I understand that it requires you to have a standard Mode C or Mode S transponder already; it's job is just to add ADS-B out to it, right? And, oh yeah, I think it helps to have a tail light. Only your fanciest rag and tube jobs come with a tail light. LOL

 

[ATTACH type=full" alt="ADS-B-5000ft-Coverage-768x652.jpg]54690[/ATTACH]

 

That map looks like a nice piece of native art!

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