ADS-B Receivers Take On Tablet Market

 - September 3, 2012, 2:50 AM

Last year there were a handful of companies promoting devices that could capture weather and traffic signals from the growing network of ADS-B ground stations deployed around the U.S. This year, the market and the makers of ADS-B devices have exploded, and buyers now have an array of choices.

The good news is that these devices are now available for both Android and Apple devices. The even better news is that some manufacturers have added fairly significant capabilities to their ADS-B devices, although some of these have yet to begin deliveries.

In late July, Garmin began shipping its new GDL 39 portable ADS-B receiver, which also receives GPS signals to deliver position information to up to three devices (two wireless, one wired) running apps such as Garmin Pilot and Garmin portable GPS units like the aera 795/796. The battery-powered GDL 39 delivers all the FAA FIS-B ADS-B free weather products and traffic data from TIS-B ground stations as well as air-to-air ADS-B traffic on both 1090 ES and 978 UAT frequencies. Garmin offers TargetTrend “relative-motion technology, [which] helps the pilot visualize the trend of the traffic as it relates to their aircraft to allow an instantaneous view of the traffic picture without any interpretation needed.”

Dual Electronics expects to begin shipping its $799 XGPS170 later this month. The battery-powered XGPS170 receives free ADS-B weather products and TIS-B and 978 UAT air-to-air ADS-B traffic. Up to two devices can connect to the XGPS170 via Bluetooth, and the device works with a variety of moving-map apps.

Sagetech has added an attitude heading reference system (AHRS) to its top-of-the-line Clarity Dual SV ADS-B receiver, which also offers dual-frequency air-to-air traffic (978 UAT and 1090 ES) and free ADS-B weather. The AHRS is used to provide heading and attitude data to apps such as Hilton Software’s Wing X Pro synthetic vision system (and soon Bendix/King’s myWingMan). The Dual SV costs $1,117 and estimated ship date is the end of this month. Lower-cost units are available with different feature levels. The Clarity receivers communicate via Wi-Fi and are battery-powered.