uAvionix today announced its participation in a Civil Aviation Authority endorsed large-scale trial using ground-based ADS-B obstruction beacons operating on 978MHz Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) in the UK. A first-ever trial to use ADS-B to enhance safety of glider, hang gliding, paragliding, and model flying operations, the trials will commence in the autumn of 2022 at various sites throughout the UK, supported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Airspace Modernisation Strategy (AMS).
Collision risks associated with hazardous overflight of winch launch gliding sites are well known to operators, yet frequent incidents continue to be reported. As part of the AMS, the CAA is seeking to implement measures to mitigate this and similar risk utilizing underutilized 978Mhz spectrum, commonly used in the USA as a secondary ADS-B frequency and for Traffic Information System Broadcast (TIS-B) and Flight Information System – Broadcast (FIS-B).
As the global market leader in UAT ADS-B devices, uAvionix is supporting the trials by providing purpose-built powered obstruction beacons that will be placed at 13 club sites throughout the UK, enabling the sites to be visualized when operational on any Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) utilizing ADS-B IN devices such as the uAvionix skyEcho2 and ForeFlight Sentry. The obstruction beacons will be switched on and broadcast only when flying activities are underway at the participating club sites.
The project will trial new airspace safety functionality built upon ground-based ADS-B obstruction beacons broadcasting on 978MHz UAT ADS-B protocols. Approved by the CAA, the project will be undertaken between September 1st and October 31st, 2022. The trials are a collaboration between uAvionix, the CAA, Association Head Office and member clubs of the British Gliding Association (BGA), British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association (BHPA), and the British Model Flying Association & Large Model Association (BMFA & LMA).
“The trial of functionality such as ADS-B Obstruction Beacons helps us understand and evaluate the benefits of deploying digital Flight Information Services as part of the Airspace Modernisation Strategy” said Stuart Lindsey, Head of Airspace Modernisation Strategy at Civil Aviation Authority, “We are pleased to fund this trial via the Airspace Modernisation Strategy Support Fund (AMSSF) and that uAvionix have chosen to work with some of our key General Aviation stakeholders to improve the promulgation and awareness of their activities at the trial locations, to deliver a safety benefit.”
“The BGA has for several years recorded and raised awareness of hazardous overflights of glider winch launch sites by aeroplanes and helicopters” said Pete Stratten, CEO of the BGA, “These sites are depicted on ½ mil charts and described within the AIP. Participating in the obstruction beacon trial will contribute to an understanding of the effectiveness of using technology to highlight a fixed airspace hazard during flight and in doing so reduce mid-air conflict risk. It is important too that the equipment is reliable and affordable. We’re pleased to be working with others to identify the wider benefits of voluntary equipage of electronic conspicuity”.
Suitably equipped General Aviation pilots flying within the vicinity of these Beacons will be alerted in real-time to these aerial activities to enhance their situational awareness and safety. Other airspace users and interested parties may also benefit. The project will be seeking feedback from all relevant stakeholders through the uAvionix website, where future updates will be posted. Please see here: https://uavionix.com/projects/UKObsBeacon
About uAvionix Corporation
uAvionix was founded in 2015 with the mission of bringing safety solutions to the unmanned aviation industry to aid in the integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). A fundamental principle of that mission is to provide solutions that allow all airspace users a common situational awareness of the airspace. Through the evolution of our company, we pioneered and now offer low SWaP, TSO-certified and uncertified ADS-B and GPS solutions for General Aviation (GA), Airport Surface Vehicles, and the UAS markets. uAvionix consists of an unparalleled engineering and management team with a unique combination of experience encompassing avionics, surveillance, airport services, UAS aircraft development, radio frequency (RF), and semiconductor industries. To learn more about uAvionix manned and unmanned products, please visit: www.uavionix.com
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