uAvionix tests skyBeacon X for Space-based ADS-B surveillance


uAvionix is developing and testing the skyBeacon X, a wingtip mounted 1090MHz Mode S ADS-B OUT transponder, with the Aireon satellite-based global ADS-B air traffic surveillance system. 

The skyBeacon X, an evolution of uAvionix’s original skyBeacon, is expected to be certified and available in 2021.

In January of this year, NAV CANADA announced it will be implementing an ADS-B Performance Requirements mandate in three phases.

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Phase 1 includes Class A airspace and Class E airspace above FL600 by Jan 1, 2021 while Phase 2 includes Class B airspace which in Canada extends from FL125 to FL180, and requires equipage by Jan 1, 2022. 

Phase 3, to be implemented no sooner than 2023 will have the greatest impact on General Aviation (GA) and will require GA aircraft to equip with transponders which employ antenna diversity – an antenna installed on both the bottom and the top of the aircraft – in order to achieve acceptable performance to provide Air Traffic Services (ATS). 

Since NAV CANADA will leverage the Aireon space-based ADS-B system for air traffic surveillance, a typical bottom-only antenna will not always achieve the required update rate. 

This presents an ADS-B equipage challenge for many Canadian pilots and U.S. pilots who fly across the border.

In response to the problem, uAvionix president Christian Ramsey, said: “Clearly there is a technical challenge here that uAvionix is well equipped to solve.”

Adding: “We specifically designed skyBeacon and tailBeacon to target a low cost of installation, and we are doing it again with skyBeacon X.  We’ve been approached by Canadian pilots asking if we can help address their needs.  uAvionix has all of the right tools and products in our portfolio to give them what they need.”

skyBeacon X will be uAvionix’s first global GA product operating on 1090MHz.

Tags : SpaceuAvionix
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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