Traffic Jam

Returning from our Great Eclipse trip in western Oregon to our home base near Reno, Nevada, we ran across this steady stream of space invaders on the ADS-B (Sorry for the glare - it was a snapshot of the iPad screen). Zooming out a bit, it became obvious that we were seeing the exodus of airplanes from  the east side of the Cascade range, and most of the planes seemed to be headed back down into California - the Bay Area and beyond. It appears the Madras, Redmond, and the surrounding airports were, indeed, fully packed. Continue reading "Traffic Jam"

ADS-B IN and The Traffic Question

The proliferation of ADS-B IN portable products at this year's EAA AirVenture air show leaves this writer with a couple of vexing questions. When surveying the purveyors of these new and generally very affordable products, I noticed that they advertise the ability to receive FIS-B (flight information services), notably METAR weather, TAF forecasts and Nexrad imagery. Some of them also advertise that the devices can receive traffic information from other ADS-B OUT equipped aircraft.

ADS-B traffic displayed on a Garmin panel-mount GNS.

I fly an ADS-B IN/OUT equipped aircraft (a permanently mounted solution) and I was curious. I know that for me to see the entire traffic picture (the same one the air traffic controllers see on their scopes) my ADS-B has to send a signal out and "ping" the nearest ADS-B station. This happens fast, and the station replies, sending me that picture of where other transponder-equipped aircraft and ADS-B equipped aircraft are, relative to my position in the air. I've flown with it all around the country, and it works well everywhere except eastern Montana, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Idaho and parts of Iowa. That'll change as stations go live, but as of this writing, that's how it is.

An ADS-B IN equipped aircraft cannot "ping" an ADS-B ground station because it has no transmitter. It might, though, pick up the response sent out by the ground station to another ADS-B OUT equipped aircraft passing nearby (kind of like how you might overhear a snippet of conversation between two people in another booth at a restaurant). If there is no aircraft to "ping" the station, an ADS-B IN equipped aircraft sees no traffic in the area. My advice? ADS-B IN equipped aircraft should enjoy having the weather products the units receive, but as for traffic? They'd better keep looking out the window.


Dynon SkyView Adds Traffic

With the release of software version 2.6 for the SkyView EFIS, Dynon has added support for the display of traffic. Currently, the SkyView  systems support TIS input from either of Dynon's remote-mounted (and EFIS-controlled) transponders or the Garmin GTX 330. SkyView is also capable of interpreting and displaying data from a Zaon XRX passive TCAS receiver, a Navworx ADS-B receiver, or a Trig ADS-B module—essentially from any system that outputs data in the industry-standard form. Continue reading "Dynon SkyView Adds Traffic"