For example, the base Lynx NGT-9000, a touchscreen Mode S Extended Squitter (1090ES) transponder—which includes an ADS-B Out rule-compliant WAAS GPS position source; ADS-B Out and In capabilities; an integral display that can depict ADS-B traffic and weather; and Wi-Fi connectivity to iPad and Android flight apps—is now priced at $5,490, a reduction of $2,370 from its list price.
The promotional pricing is currently set to end on May 31, L-3 said. Promotional pricing for the full line of Lynx NGT-9000 products is available online.
ADS-B, which uses satellites instead of ground-based radar to determine aircraft location, is a primary technology behind the FAA’s Next Generation Air Traffic Control System. The FAA has mandated ADS-B Out equipage beginning Jan. 1, 2020, for operations in most airspace where a transponder is required today.
The new features are available through software upgrades to the existing Lynx NGT-9000 operating system. The eTAWS option adds an additional screen to the display, highlighting terrain surrounding the aircraft to provide pilots with a Class B TAWS solution where mandated. The ATAS option provides an aural alert for intruder ADS-B traffic, to help pilots more quickly acquire potential traffic threats visually and take action if appropriate.
Todd Scholten, L-3’s chief pilot, recently visited AOPA to demonstrate these capabilities. ATAS requires only ADS-B information, he said, and will work cooperatively with the active traffic system available on some versions of the NGT-9000. “It has two methods of alerting, display and audio,” he said.
Local traffic was surprisingly elusive during our flight, although we did see one alert. “With a [traffic advisory system], alerting is inhibited below 400 feet agl,” to suppress “nuisance alerts,” Scholten said. “Not so with ATAS. So if you get an alert in the pattern, you don’t want to ignore it.”
ATAS provides potential benefits not offered with other systems, he noted. “It uses the predicted path of the intruder, including turn rate, from the ADS-B.” The ATAS alerting is overlaid on top of TAS alerting, he explained. “Our system alerts based on the best information first.”
With the system, he said, you can see aircraft in the traffic pattern before you take off. “It works on ADS-B alone, and TAS improves the situation. It’s one of the first tangible benefits of ADS-B In.”
The Lynx Class B eTAWS option also provides both graphic and aural warnings. The color-coded terrain screen provides a surveillance range of 24 nautical miles and will alert the pilot when a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accident is imminent. The Lynx unit automatically switches to the eTAWS screen when a terrain warning is issued, and simultaneously will alert the pilot through the audio panel. The Lynx eTAWS page also shows land-based obstacles.
In a test flight toward an antenna on a steep ridge, the system first announced “Caution, terrain!” and alerted “Terrain” in yellow on the NGT-9000 screen. Scholten climbed slightly above the terrain elevation, and the alert shifted to “Caution, obstacle!” with “Obstacle” highlighted in yellow on the display. As the airplane got closer, the audible alert became “Pull up! Pull up!” and the graphical warning turned to a red “Pull up!” The combination would be difficult to ignore.
The upgrades are available as software enablements on the Lynx NGT-9000 products. The ATAS option is $667 and eTAWS is $4,000.