Cheap Stratus ADS-B receiver/EFIS

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Vigilant1

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It might be useful for some folks, but since it's only a receiver ("ADS-B In") it won't take the place of a transponder for flight in Class A, B and C airspace. The main value to me of ADS-B In (compared to just a GPS) would be free inflight weather. Traffic is interesting, but as long as I'm flying in VMC I'll be content with see-and-avoid (opinions differ on this, I know).
 

Topaz

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As long as it's only for iPad, it's useless for me. The aviation community has been really slow to realize that there are far more devices out there running Android than iOS. That's not a shot against iOS, just a statement of fact. I like what I've seen of iOS, but Android suits me better. I'm not going to switch ecosystems for the sake of one third-party manufacturer.

When it supports Android, I'll look at it.
 

fredoyster

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There are at least four of these on the market at the moment, for about the same price. Stratus and Levil have their own AHRS, others such as Dual and Garmin use the accelerometers and "gyros" in the tablet.

There is no right answer for iOS vs Android. There are good apps for each and fans of each platform. The current free packages on Android are pretty impressive, and the ability (for the moment) to download the whole country's worth of sectionals, enroute IFR and approach plates from the FAA for free is amazing. There are also some apps for aviation that are downright scary, for instance offering a sort of synthetic LOC/GS precision approach to an airport with no regard for terrain clearance except a warning in the documentation.

I think a lot of people value the experience they get from Apple which at least on the surface aims to protect users from malicious or misguided software, and they are willing to pay extra for it. As an experimenter I would rather have the option to make those decisions myself. I have been amazed at what can be done with a $180 Samsung Android tablet and free apps, certainly more than anyone needs for VFR.

A bit OT for this post, but there is also an Android DAQ module for about $250 http://www.controlcapture.com/androiddaqmod for an engine management system. I have bought one of these and am experimenting with it.
 

autoreply

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It might be useful for some folks, but since it's only a receiver ("ADS-B In") it won't take the place of a transponder for flight in Class A, B and C airspace. The main value to me of ADS-B In (compared to just a GPS) would be free inflight weather. Traffic is interesting, but as long as I'm flying in VMC I'll be content with see-and-avoid (opinions differ on this, I know).
It does a whole lot more than that.

The only thing it's missing is a few internal pressure sensors (pitot). That would give you anything you need, save ADS-B out and radio, since both have to be certified.
 

Vipor_GG

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As long as it's only for iPad, it's useless for me. The aviation community has been really slow to realize that there are far more devices out there running Android than iOS. That's not a shot against iOS, just a statement of fact. I like what I've seen of iOS, but Android suits me better. I'm not going to switch ecosystems for the sake of one third-party manufacturer.

When it supports Android, I'll look at it.
I run into this a lot being a Linux (for PC) and Android (for other devices) user. Many hardware and software vendors completely ignore anything that isn't MS or Apple. As long as a company doesn't support me, I don't support them.
 
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Topaz

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I run into this a lot being a Linux (for PC) and Android (for other devices). Many hardware and software vendors completely ignore anything that isn't MS or Apple. As long as a company doesn't support me, I don't support them.
Yep. And I want to make it explicit that I'm in no way disparaging Apple or iOS. They're one of several choices, and I don't begrudge anyone their choices in this regard. Hey, whatever works best for the person involved. My choice was Android, and I'm comfortable with it. The acceptance of Android by the aviation community has been a very long time coming, and it's been frustrating for me not to have access to some of the exceptionally good aviation software available on iOS. But, as I said earlier, I'm not switching entire platforms just for one software or hardware product. Not gonna happen.
 

Vigilant1

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The FAA's position on amateur-built ADSB-OUT equipment hasn't been made clear. From your link:
At an “Equip 2020” meeting involving the FAA, aviation groups, and industry officials this week in Washington, D.C., the agency restated their intent to ensure that the year 2020 mandate for ADS-B “out” installation would allow experimental category aircraft to install non-TSO equipment that meets TSO performance specifications.
Sounds like the FAA wants the manufacturers to self-certify that any ADSB-Out devices meet TSO performance specs. They haven't said yet whether homebuilt avionics "manufacturers" will be allowed to self-certify.
I'd like them to meet us half way--set up a system (maybe using the FSSs) through which an aviator can call and test their ADSB-Out equipment in flight. If everything checks out, (they see your signal, it matches your altitude/location/tail number, etc) then a confirmation number is provided and the aviator makes an annotation in the log book and the FSS "enrolls" you into the database.

For more on the homemade system mentioned by Will Aldridge, see this EAA article: Live Weather and Traffic for Less Than $120 | EAA
 

TahoeTim

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It's also based on the pi so it's a close relative. With 5 years until we have to install something, these two projects prove that we should all wait before spending thousands of dollars on a system. The final solution will be below $200 for experimental aircraft.
 

Vigilant1

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The final solution will be below $200 for experimental aircraft.
I hope you are right, but I doubt it. The FAA is going to be very picky about the quality of the data that is entered into their ADSB "universe"--the whole system is based on the accuracy and reliability of that target-reported data. They'll be less picky about ADSB-In being used for the situational awareness of that single EAB pilot. But if the ADSB-OUT data being supplied by that EAB aircraft is inaccurate, it puts every other plane (commercial airliners, etc) at risk that is depending on the data for traffic separation.
 

BJC

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It's also based on the pi so it's a close relative.
That is irrational ... :)

With 5 years until we have to install something, these two projects prove that we should all wait before spending thousands of dollars on a system. The final solution will be below $200 for experimental aircraft.
I agree that it could be done with a large enough market, and I hope that that will happen. But I suspect that I will end up paying closer to $500.

BJC
 

Hot Wings

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But if the ADSB-OUT data being supplied by that EAB aircraft is inaccurate, it puts every other plane (commercial airliners, etc) at risk that is depending on the data for traffic separation.
But this isn't likely to be a real problem given the structure of the data packet sent. It will either be garbage or an accurate reflection of the data gathered by the GPS/sensors doing that side of the work. The FAA seems to be comfortable with the quality of the information being sent to the various cockpit devices now? It will be essentially the same data, just gathered together in a nice little packet and sent off to the receiving station.

All you ever wanted to know about ADS-b but were afraid to ask
;)

As for cost: I'm not a radio guy so I don't know what kind of power is needed to transmit the data. If it's not too great the drone guys just might be the ones to bring this down to really cheap levels. If the FAA were to mandate ADS-b out for all drones over "X" weight, or what ever metric they decide to use, a sub $30 module might be a reality.
 

BJC

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.... If the FAA were to mandate ADS-b out for all drones over "X" weight, or what ever metric they decide to use, a sub $30 module might be a reality.
Remember that the transmitted signal is "line of sight" so the coverage would be limited without adding tens of thousands of ground stations. What would the FAA, or anyone else, do with the ADS-B data from thousands of drones?


BJC
 

Hot Wings

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What would the FAA, or anyone else, do with the ADS-B data from thousands of drones?


BJC
That's for the FAA to figure out ;)

Like it or not drones will be part of our future. The only technology we have available in the near term to integrate them into the human carrying airspace is ADS-b. The commercial drones will probably have to carry a unique ICAO code, like the rest of us. The little amateur drones, ones that shouldn't be seen in the system because of the line of sight and 400 ft limit, might all have the same code, similar to what 1200 is now. The hardware would need to be compatible with the GA network for when they do pop up in the system. The number of units needed for the amateur units would be high resulting in reduced cost for the rest of us. Homebuilders could just buy an R/C version, input the assigned ICAO code and go fly.

There would not need to be any more ground stations. If the amateur drones stay where they should they won't be presenting a hazard to the rest of us. If they stray then they get picked up. With an ICAO code that is unique to amateur drones everyone on the system then knows what they are dealing with - and respond appropriately.
 

Topaz

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... What would the FAA, ... , do with the ADS-B data from thousands of drones?
Put them under positive, takeoff-to-landing, full and automatic computerized ATC control, just like they want to do with us. These are bureaucrats we're talking about, remember.

There are actual grant-financed studies going on right now for a "drone ATC" system, whereby all drones will file a flight plan of sorts, and then be positively controlled through "routes" that are computer-managed to avoid collisions and to get the drone to where it's going without letting it violate airspace that's been restricted by the government for this or that purpose. Essentially, the idea is that the "operator" will tell the ATC system where they are and where they want the drone to go, and the computers will take care of the rest, including telling the drone where it will fly to get there, based on current traffic and the capabilities of the drone.

If you don't think the FAA and other agencies would positively drool over the opportunity to impose the same system over all flying vehicles, then you're kidding yourself. We "little pesky planes going willy-nilly whereever we want, controlled by fallible human operators who may not respect our regulations" are a thorn the FAA has long wanted to bring to heel. Until now, there wasn't any really practical way of doing that, but networked computers and communication systems are starting to make it a "possible" thing.

ADS-B isn't explicitly part of that, but don't pretend that it exists to serve the pilot. It exists to push the cost of locating aircraft for ground ATC operations off onto the aircraft owners themselves, instead of the expensive and expensive-to-maintain FAA-funded ground radars used today. That wasn't how it was supposed to work, but that's what it has turned into. Thus the requirement for ADS-B Out, but no requirement for ADS-B In, which would allow traffic to separate itself without input from the ground. The FAA is a bureaucracy and, by definition, that means its primary goal is to preserve and grow its job description, funding, and headcount. Letting traffic separate itself is counter to that goal, which is why ADS-B In has been given short-shrift by the FAA.
 
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bmcj

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What would the FAA, or anyone else, do with the ADS-B data from thousands of drones?


BJC
You know what ADS-B equipped drones means? It means easier drone spotting... all I need now is some reinforced leading edges and the hunt is on! :roll:
 
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