The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has certified the Mode S ADS-B Out transponder developed by the communications, navigation and surveillance solution provider uAvionix for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). The company’s ping200X is a low-Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) avionics developed by uAvionix and certified for use on UAS, General Aviation (GA), and defense aircraft.
The transponder weighs 50 grams and delivers 200 watts of transmit power while drawing an average of 1.5 watts from the aircraft’s power supply, says uAvionix. The ping200X profile is designed to fit onto small UAS (sUAS) to support long flight times and large payloads with minimal energy consumption. When paired with truFYA, uAvionix’s SBAS GPS, ping200X meets the requirements of global controlled airspace, delivering safe separation information to Air Traffic Control (ATC), Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS), and Detect and Avoid (DAA) systems.
The ping200X transponder integrates and combines a Mode S Transponder, ADS-B OUT, and an altitude encoder certified to the following TSOs:
- TSO-C112e (Mode S Transponder)
- TSO-C166b (ADS-B OUT Extended Squitter)
- TSO-C88b (altitude encoder).
According to a uAvionix press release, ADS-B and transponder technology is a key component of UAS integration for mixed-use airspace. The FAA’s recent ruling on remote identification for UAVs establishes that Part 21 certificated aircraft must be equipped with a Remote ID device and/or ADS-B OUT transponder for legal operations. Additionally, the FAA’s Concept of Operations for Upper-Class E Traffic Management (ETM) includes ADS-B and Mode S transponders as key technologies enabling coordination in the upper atmosphere.
ping200X has been at the center of two recent notable milestones within the UAS industry. Most recently, ping200X has been incorporated into launch customer Airbus’ High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) flight testing campaign, Zephyr. Designed to give military, commercial, and institutions access to sustainable solar-powered stratospheric satellites, Zephyr is equipped with a suite of sensors to support future systems and solutions.
In the United Kingdom, UAS specialist Flylogix recently equipped the ping200X transponder to conduct BVLOS operations in the North Sea for conducting oil platform inspections with drones to reduce carbon emissions and promote more efficient and safer operations.
The ping200X is integrable with many popular onboard UAS autopilots for dynamic control from ground control stations (GCS). ping200X can also be pre-configured before flight and carried as a payload. Replicating the functionality of a cockpit transponder controller, the uAvionix mini-controller allows you to dial-in a squawk code before takeoff for even quicker integration and rapid deployment.
For integration with non-compatible autopilots, uAvionix offers a protocol converter, allowing customers who are currently using uncertified legacy transponders to plug-and-play with the certified ping200X with zero autopilot integration or changes necessary to aircraft configuration.
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