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Ground-based NextGen traffic monitorGround-based NextGen traffic monitor

Situational awareness under $2,000Situational awareness under $2,000

uAvionix Corp. of Palo Alto, California, is working with DJI to bring Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology to both manned and unmanned aircraft. PingStation, the latest product announced by the company, is a ground-based ADS-B receiver designed to integrate with a variety of traffic displays.

PingStation photo and underlying graphic courtesy of uAvionix.

The Silicon Valley firm has released several new products since it rolled out a $175 ADS-B receiver for drones in May 2016, followed a few months later by a lightweight ADS-B transceiver suitable for manned aircraft, including experimental and potentially some light sport models. The 75-gram Echo ATU-20 hit the market along with news of a partnership with Chinese drone giant DJI. It can be paired with a GPS source (required for future NextGen compliance by manned aircraft) for a combined total of $1,500.

The PingStation is the latest iteration of the technology that uAvionix is pitching to both the drone community and the larger general aviation market. It is not designed to fly, but to form the basis of a ground station that gives drone pilots, along with flight school operators and others with a need for aircraft tracking, the ability to receive traffic information from the network of satellite and ground stations that comprises the ADS-B system central to future air traffic management.

“PingStation is robust enough to be permanently mounted outdoors in harsh environmental conditions and small enough to be used as a mobile asset for roaming operations,” the company noted in a press release.

The PingStation operates on both the 978MHz and 1090 MHz frequencies, and can be networked via Ethernet connections. The uAvionix FYX GPS is integrated to provide high-resolution timestamping, and captures inbound ground, surface, and low-altitude ADS-B surveillance within the antenna’s line of sight, up to 250 nautical miles depending on the power of the transmission source.

PingStation is priced at $1,750, adding to the company’s lineup of sub-$2,000 ADS-B solutions. PingStation is designed to integrate with multiple free software platforms, with built-in ability to connect to Virtual Radar Server, the Kongsberg Geospatial IRIS UAS Airspace Situational Awareness Display, and INDMEX Aviation’s Airboss.

“uAvionix is excited to add PingStation to our product line of ADS-B transceivers and receivers,” said eAvionix CEO Paul Beard in a news release. “Our customers informed us for the need of robust and low cost surveillance solutions to complement the airborne equipment used in their operations.”

Jim Moore

Jim Moore

Editor-Web Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot, as well as a certificated remote pilot, who enjoys competition aerobatics and flying drones.
Topics: Technology, ADSB

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