Mode S and Sat Nav (Sat elt

Discussion in 'Instruments / Avionics / Electrical System' started by Cootflyer, Jan 19, 2008.

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  1. Jan 19, 2008 #1

    Cootflyer

    Cootflyer

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    How the general public views this issue ? (large expense )low end mode s 3000.oo low end elt sat is going for 900.oo like I said low end
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2008
  2. Jan 19, 2008 #2

    BBerson

    BBerson

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    The FAA plan is to require ADS-B by 2020.
    I have heard prices from $4000 to $20000 for a small aircraft.
    They are trying to mandate use in Alaska now.
    I am not happy.

    Can you imagine the cost for repairs alone? Theft? Storage in the damp air?
     
  3. Jan 19, 2008 #3

    Topaz

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    We discussed this briefly a few months ago, here. Check out post #4 in that thread, by Dana.

    The end result is that it's not really quite as bad as you might think. "Controlled airspace" doesn't mean "everything above Class G" in this context.

    Not to be pollyanna about it, but we've got twelve years before this goes into effect. With the price (and size) of electronics in general and GPS in specific dropping like a rock, I sincerely doubt the units will still cost $4,000+ when the time comes, even accounting for inflation. Heck, they've got street-mapping GPS units with traffic-jam avoidance for under $200 now, down from $1,000 in just a couple of years.

    Personally, with some specific reservations with regards to airliners (Orion mentions this also in that other thread), I'm rather glad to see this come. We're one step removed from being able to know who's flying nearby, where they're at, and if a collision is likely, all without the electronic tether to ground control. There's enough traffic in my flight area (just southeast of the LA Basin) that I have to practically give myself whiplash with 'see and avoid'.
     
  4. Jan 19, 2008 #4

    BBerson

    BBerson

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    If the cost is below $1000 then I might support the plan. The other issue is that this device provides just one more reason to stare at the panel instead of looking out the window.
    We need a heads up device that can direct the pilots scan to see aircraft that would otherwise be missed. Something like sunglasses that can electronically highlight the traffic with a circle. The whole unit could be mounted in the sunglass and headset combo using audio as well for help in directing the pilots scan to the approaching traffic.
     
  5. Jan 19, 2008 #5

    Topaz

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    I agree completely. That sort of aid would be the best possible system for GA.

    I remember a Popular Mechanics issue back in the 1980's. PM got a group of notable pilots and engineers together (the only names I remember are Yeager and Rutan, but there were more) to design the "Trainer for the Next Century": the Popular Mechanics "Scorpion".

    The concept boasted a full-canopy heads-up display: all information was mapped onto the inside of the bubble canopy with a little projector*, including a warning circle around any nearby traffic. They didn't include the auditory cueing that you've mentioned, but I think that would be a tremendous aid, especially in light of some Air Force studies in 3D sound localization for pilots. The USAF wanted to do the same thing - make the pilot look towards a 'bad guy' sensed by the airplane by making it appear that a warning sound was actually coming from his direction. Apparently it worked great. With today's relatively cheap audio processors for home-theater surround sound, that seems like it would be fairly easy to do - both the visual 'circle' and the localized warning sound are just a azimuth, elevation, and range calculation from the pilot's current position. Mapping that to VR glasses seems like it ought to be fairly straightforward - the RC guys already have the VR goggles slaved to little cameras in their models, so that it looks like you're sitting in the cockpit, including the view change when you turn your head and look up and down. Pretty striking.

    So, the technology is already around, in bits and pieces. Someone just needs to put it together for GA use.

    * The PM 'Scorpion' concept airplane had a little laser projector on top of the glareshield, and the idea was to have that project all the information directly onto the inside of the canopy, which had a very slight reflective coating. Compass bearings were projected right on the horizon, various information we get from gauges was projected right above the base of the canopy, and the system projected a 'highway in the sky' at the course and altitude of the flight plan logged into the computer on-board. (I've seent that latter technology starting to show up in research for HUDs for business jets and VLJs.)

    The idea was to promote the pilot almost never looking down into the cockpit, but still having all the information he/she needs right in view. Instead, the focus was on flying the airplane and giving the pilot information in the most intuitive, non-invasive means possible. Basically, 'seat of the pants'-type flying, but the information was there for the pilot as well. There were some backup gauges if the electronics went wrong.This was a time when pilots in USAF fighters were routinely getting overwhelmed by the information presented to them, and a lot of the aerospace industry was focused on fixing that. The all-glass cockpits (like the F-35) we have now are the result.

    Most of the pilots I talked to about the concept ran on about "I learned on gauges, so they must be good enough, and I don't want to be flying a d**med Pac-Man game." In other words, "This is different, so I don't like it." I thought it was an ingenious system, myself; just about twenty years ahead of the technology available for general public use.

    The airplane itself was (predictably for both the time and for Rutan) a canard pusher, with two small rotaries on the wings and sailplane-like bicycle gear and tip wheels. The whole thing was going to be composites laid up by computer in large pieces, so that the finished product practically glued together like a plastic model. Control was fly-by-wire. It was more in the vein of a trainer and light cross-country machine than a tube-and-rag weekend-breakfast ship.

    It was a neat design exercise. I didn't completely agree with all of their concepts, but overall the thing was ingenious.
     
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  6. Jan 19, 2008 #6

    BBerson

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    The other issue with ADS-B is that it operates on the signal from the aircraft. A terrorist or other outlaw can simply disable the unit.
    The FAA wants to shift the cost of radar onto the aircraft owner with ADS-B but the FAA has no plan for outlaws or jamming as far as I know.
    Radar works better for surveillance of course and the radar is also useful for weather. So the desire of the FAA to get rid of old power hog radar may not work.

    I think the FAA should get new advanced radar that the military has developed that uses some of the background radio signals from nearby radio broadcasts. It is much cheaper.

    And I also supported a system called Teleran invented by RCA in the 1940's.
    With Teleran the FAA would broadcast a video of the local controller screen with "highway in the sky" overlay. The pilots just fly there airplane "blip" down the highway in single file with controller inputs only when needed.
     
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  7. Jan 19, 2008 #7

    Topaz

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    Yep, that's the big problem. It's not like they can shift responsibility to the military - not allowed to do surveilance on civillians in the CONUS, no matter how much actually goes on in practice.

    I hadn't heard of Teleran. Interesting way to do a 'moving map' for the pilot.
     
  8. Jan 20, 2008 #8

    pwood66889

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    Topaz wrote:
    "Not to be pollyanna about it, but we've got twelve years before this goes into effect. With the price (and size) of electronics in general and GPS in specific dropping like a rock, I sincerely doubt the units will still cost $4,000+ when the time comes, even accounting for inflation. Heck, they've got street-mapping GPS units with traffic-jam avoidance for under $200 now, down from $1,000 in just a couple of years."

    You have confused, Topaz, "Quality by mass production" with "Inspected in Quality." Aircraft and the FAA have historically done the latter, which is not effected by production volume. The same number of checks are required for a TSO'd item whether one or one billion are made. People do the inspection, hence the cost will stay up. Example: IFR legal GPS. Look `em up in the Spruce catalog.
    Percy in NM, USA
     

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