The Basics +
- ADS-B is the first core technology within NextGen, the ongoing program to increase the efficiency, capacity and safety of the world’s airspace systems.
- ADS-B is an Air Traffic Management (ATM) Surveillance system that will replace traditional radar-based systems. It provides greater accuracy and wider coverage to safely allow reduced separation, more efficient routing and other benefits.
- ADS-B is like a large wireless network - the ground stations are Wireless Access Points and the aircraft are Clients.
- Aircraft report their own position via the network and receive weather, traffic and other information from the ground network and other aircraft.
- Computers on the ground integrate all the information for comprehensive views of the airspace for pilots and controllers.
- Aircraft only need an approved WAAS GPS as the high-integrity ADS-B position source and an ADS-B Out datalink radio. Aircraft owners can choose to keep or replace their current transponder. ADS-B In receivers are optional but enable valuable weather and traffic data services.
ADS-B is part of NextGen
NextGen is the name for a multi-faceted program to increase the efficiency, capacity and safety of the world’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems. ADS-B, or Automatic Surveillance Surveillance-Broadcast, is the first core technology program within NextGen. It is one of several ATM Surveillance technologies that shift air traffic control from expensive 70-year-old radar technology to a sophisticated network of airborne-, ground- and satellite-based systems.*
• ATM encompasses three main areas: Communications, Navigation and Surveillance. ADS-B is significantly more accurate than surveillance radar because aircraft positions are updated once - per-second vs. between 4 and 12 seconds for radar. Radar also is subject to range limitations and shadowing caused by natural and manmade obstructions. The 800 relatively low-cost ADS-B ground stations in the U.S. provide comprehensive national coverage.
Proven in Real-World Flying
ADS-B has been rigorously tested for over a decade in both ordinary and extraordinarily challenging real-
world conditions. ADS-B makes flying more efficient, more economical, environmentally friendlier and safer.*
How It Works +
With ADS-B, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system becomes a giant wireless network where aircraft are the "clients" and ground stations are wireless access points. Each aircraft is equipped with the required WAAS GPS and an ADS-B datalink radio that automatically shares its precise position with ATC and other aircraft, and "sees" nearby traffic via the network.* The network also can share weather and other data with aircraft equipped with an optional ADS-B receiver.
*Similarly equipped aircraft within line-of-sight range can "see" each other's position directly.
ADS-B Out +
All aircraft flying in controlled airspace in the U.S. must be equipped for ADS-B Out before Jan. 1, 2020.* ADS-B Out systems transmit aircraft position data to the network and to other aircraft. ADS-B Out systems also can supply ADS-B traffic data received from the network and other aircraft to a cockpit display.
*The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) harmonizes ATM technologies and practices worldwide. Each ICAO member-nation sets its own implementation plan and deadline for ADS-B. The U.S. deadline makes it the last ICAO member to require ADS-B equipage.
An ADS-B Out installation requires two components: a certified rule-compliant WAAS GPS high-integrity position source and a datalink radio. The WAAS GPS and other aircraft systems supply position, velocity, heading, altitude and other data to the datalink radio that communicates automatically with the ground network and other aircraft.
ADS-B Out Datalink Radios
There are two types of datalink radios – a 1090 MHz (1090ES) system or 978 MHz Universal Access Transceiver (UAT). A 1090ES datalink radio includes a new or modified Mode S transponder paired with a certified WAAS GPS ADS-B position source. A 1090ES is required for aircraft operating at FL180 and above. A 978 UAT also pairs with an approved WAAS GPS ADS-B position source and other aircraft systems and communicates with the network and other aircraft.
1090ES or 978 UAT?
Aircraft that fly below FL180 can fulfill ADS-B Out requirements with either a 1090ES or 978 UAT datalink radio. However, a 978 UAT is highly recommended because:
- It uses efficient, reliable, low-power, high-integrity digital data transmissions vs. 70-year-old radar-based technology
- It only requires a simple retrofit installation for most aircraft.
- The 978 UAT paired with an approved ADS-B position source works with existing Mode A and C transponders. The 1090ES option requires replacement or modification of an existing transponder.
- The 978 MHz frequency has ample capacity for increased airspace use and for aviation data services while the 1090 MHz frequency is already congested and lacks capacity for growth.
ADS-B In +
ADS-B In Services
Equipping for ADS-B Out gives pilots the option to use a certified ADS-B In receiver to take advantage of valuable weather and traffic data without added subscription fees or dedicated equipment. An ADS-B In receiver is optional and can be installed at the same time as ADS-B Out or added later.
ADS-B In Traffic
ADS-B In systems receive traffic data from TIS, TIS-B, TAS, TCAD and TCAS systems that operate on the 1090 MHz frequency. In addition all ADS-B Out equipped aircraft can “see” each other when within line of sight. Traffic data is broadcast on both the 1090 and 978 MHz frequencies.
ADS-B In FIS-B Weather and Other Services
ADS-B In systems also receive weather and other data services called Flight Information Services- Broadcast (FIS-B). FIS-B is broadcast only on the 978 MHz frequency . ADS-B In receivers also will support future broadcast services made possible by abundant capacity on the 978 MHz frequency.
ADS-B Benefits Here and Now +
Aircraft owners may be tempted to wait until the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B Out draws near. But it’s more sensible to equip aircraft now and get the benefits of ADS-B immediately.
The positional accuracy and national coverage of ADS-B Out can increase the availability of VFR Flight Following services and enable more efficient IFR routing. ADS-B Out significantly improves the ability to locate a missing aircraft and provide emergency assistance when needed. Equipping for ADS-B In adds the cost-saving and safety benefits of in-cockpit weather services.
By equipping now aircraft owners can reduce installation downtime. Avionics shops across the country face a potential capacity crunch as about 140,000 GA aircraft require ADS-B installations. That means well over 100 installations per day before the deadline in addition to the regular workload of other installations, repairs, avionics updates and maintenance.
FULLY CERTIFIED ADS-B SOLUTIONS
FreeFlight Systems’ ADS-B datalink solutions offer high quality, low cost, lightweight, and modular solutions for adding ADS-B capability to your aircraft.
978 Lite Systems
Lowest cost all-in-one ADS-B system with WiFi display integration
978 Blue Box Systems
Modular, certified, ADS-B solutions with WiFi and glass display integration
978 Business Aircraft Systems
Integrated ADS-B receiver and position source