“1.2 million drones were sold in the United States in 2016,” notes uAvionix’s Christian Ramsey. That’s a lot of drones.
And the prevailing response from the full-scale aviation world seems to still be AHHHHHHH. Or words to that effect.
Here’s the thing though. Not all of those drones will be airborne at the same time. Just like airplanes.
And those who are operating drones commercially — for the most part — are doing so in a proper manner. Just like full scale aircraft.
Integrating A LOT of drones into the National Airspace System is a challenge.
If all drones were outfit with an ADS-B transceiver, we might just have a completely different problem on our hands. Drone returns may “flood the airwaves” and crash the system, writes Christian.
Tiny-UAT ADS-B for UAS
But it doesn’t have to be that way. uAvionix is developing a low-powered (.01 to .1 watt) ADS-B transceiver that would be capable of broadcasting information that aircraft from one to 10 miles out would be able to see.
Below is an image of uAvionix’s dime-sized Tiny-AUT ADS-B for UAS.
As more UAS with ADS-B become operational in congested areas, the potential for overwhelming the infrastructure becomes real. That’s why a low-powered solution is…well…their solution.
“ping2020 detects ADS-B aircraft within a 100 statute mile radius in real time, dramatically improving drone operator awareness of threats in the area including aircraft beyond line of sight,” company officials explain.
For Full Scale Too
But what about those of us who fly IN our aircraft? Back in March 2015 I suggested good things would come from the drone industry.
uAvionix has taken what they’ve learned in the drone marketplace and scaled it up for full-scale aviation. At present, their products serve light-sport and experimental markets.
The rapidly expanding drone market needn’t usher in GA’s nadir. The two can — and will — peacefully co-exist.
uAvionix, as the name seems to suggest, got its start in the unmanned world. Helping to integrate those millions of current and future drones into U.S. airspace represents a huge opportunity.