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ADS-B gets smallADS-B gets small

Drone-industry supplier introduces tiny transceiversDrone-industry supplier introduces tiny transceivers

uAvionix Corp.—a Palo Alto, California-based company specializing in Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) products for the unmanned aircraft system market—has jumped into general aviation with four new products designed for use in experimental and light sport aircraft.

uAvionix EchoUAT

uAvionix says it wants to disrupt the general aviation industry by leveraging solutions developed for drones, transforming avionics design and dramatically reducing size and cost. “These products will help pave the way for accelerated ADS-B adoption in the experimental and light sport market by leveraging the technology we’ve developed for the drone market,” said uAvionix CEO Paul Beard. “Our GA solutions are smaller, easier to install, and more affordable than ever.”

The FAA has mandated equipage with ADS-B Out after Jan. 1, 2020, for flight in airspace where a transponder is required today.

uAvionix’s EchoUAT, a remote-mount ADS-B transceiver operating on the 978-MHz universal access transceiver frequency, offers easy installation and compatibility with many electronic flight instrument systems (EFIS) popular in experimental aircraft, the company said. The EchoUAT transceiver receives on both ADS-B frequencies (1090 MHz and 978 MHz).

EchoUAT includes integrated Wi-Fi, allowing the display of ADS-B In data on many popular electronic flight bag (EFB) apps on iOS and Android devices. It also utilizes direct wired communication to EFIS products from Dynon, GRT, and MGL Avionics, as well as popular transponders. An integral automatic reply decoder integrates with Mode C and legacy transponders for maximum retrofit capability. EchoUAT is designed for use with the aircraft’s existing altitude encoder and ADS-B-compliant GPS position source, although the company sells a compliant position source separately. Designed to meet the performance requirements of TSO-C154c, the company said it complies with 14 CFR 91.227. It weighs 65 grams—that’s less than 2.5 ounces—and lists for $999.

uAvionix SkyFYX

The company’s SkyFYX position source combines a WAAS GNSS sensor with an integrated RAIM processor. At less than $500, uAvionix said SkyFYX is the most affordable ADS-B-rule-compliant position source available for use with its ADS-B hardware in experimental and light sport aircraft.

uAvionix displayed the ATU-20, a small UAT, last year at EAA AirVenture. “EchoUAT takes what was shown at Oshkosh last year and adds a lot of integration options that pilots asked for,” said Shane Woodson, uAvionix director of sales. “EchoUAT separates the GPS source, so many pilots that have a compliant GPS source are not paying extra for an unneeded GPS source. This allows us to drive the price below $1,000. Then we have the optional SkyFYX GPS source for $500 for those who need the GPS source.”

Even at a combined price of $1,499, “we are hundreds less than the closest competitor, and our ease of installation is better. Not to mention the size and flexibility offered by EchoUAT,” Woodson said. Additional EFIS compatibility is under development, he added, and it connects directly to common digital transponders such as Sandia, Garmin, and the Apollo SL70. “A no-install internal transponder reply monitor detects squawk, mode, ident, and altitude from an existing legacy transponder.”

The EchoUAT will be shipping and sold next week at Sun ’n Fun, Woodson said. Pre-orders are being accepted for the SkyFYX, with shipping expected to begin in late April or early May. 

uAvionix also announced the EchoESX, a Mode S Extended Squitter transponder that will be available in late April for $1,699, also for experimental and light sport aircraft. Ease of installation was a key design criteria, in an effort to make it the most affordable installed ADS-B-enabled Mode S transponder. Like the EchoUAT, it is designed to interface directly with many most popular EFIS products. An optional 2 1/4-inch panel-mounted control head, priced at $400, completes a Mode S transponder upgrade solution for aircraft owners without a supported EFIS installation. If an ADS-B-compliant position source is required, the company said its new SkyFYX is compatible.

All three products will be available direct from uAvionix, as well as through the company’s new and growing reseller network.

uAvionix also announced the SkyEcho, which it said is the first approved portable Cap 1391 Electronic Conspicuity device for pilots in the United Kingdom. The SkyEcho weighs 200 grams—less than half a pound—which includes an integrated WAAS GPS, barometer, and Wi-Fi in a portable, battery-powered package. This product does not meet the requirements of the 2020 ADS-B mandate in the United States.

The company will debut its GA product line at the Sun ’n Fun International Fly- in and Expo in Lakeland, Florida, April 4 through 9 (Booth B-049).

Mike Collins

Mike Collins

Technical Editor
Mike Collins has worked for AOPA’s media network since 1994. He holds a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating.
Topics: ADSB, Gear

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