Trig Avionics is adding the possibility of 1090ES ADS-B receiver capability to general aviation with three products targeted at light aircraft, high-performance aircraft and turbine aircraft. The TA62, TA63 and TA64 will be fully certified C166b receivers, and are expected to be shipping at the end of 2010.
The FAA is investing millions in the ground infrastructure for ADS-B as part of the Next Generation air traffic system, and one of the benefits for U.S. pilots is that any aircraft participating in ADS-B Out can also receive an uplink of all the nearby traffic, even if the other aircraft has only a conventional transponder. To get this traffic information the pilot needs an ADS-B In receiver.
“We all know that ADS-B is the cornerstone of next generation air traffic management, but it also has advantages for the pilot,” said Andy Davis, CEO of Trig Avionics. “The biggest benefit is that traffic in the cockpit becomes affordable because you don’t need an active traffic system to see the same picture as ATC—in fact the TA60 family can be more accurate and information rich than TCAS II.”
An ADS-B traffic display can show call sign, speed and heading information, relative altitude, and whether traffic is climbing or descending. The TA60 family also includes audio alerting of potentially conflicting traffic, including relative bearing and distance: “Traffic, 11 o’clock, One Mile.” ADS-B is a replacement for (or supplement to) traditional radar-based surveillance. Instead of using ground-based radar to interrogate aircraft and determine their positions, each aircraft will use GPS to find its own position and then automatically report it.
In the U.S., two datalinks are supported: 1090ES, based on Mode S transponder technology, and UAT. Most aircraft will use 1090ES for ADS-B Out because it is less expensive to install, but UAT and 1090ES can be mixed. The ground stations rebroadcast information received on one link back out on the other link. The TA60 receivers listen for transmissions on the 1090ES channel and display traffic on a cockpit multifunction display (MFD). Compatible displays include those from Aspen, Avidyne and Garmin, as well as some portable GPS displays.