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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.
Northrop Grumman is marketing an unmanned aircraft that could be a low-cost alternative for training the operators of its own MQ-5B Hunter and the Predator and Reaper UAVs made by General Atomics.
The U.S. Army has validated the design and functionality of a second-phase ground-based sense and avoid (GBSAA) radar system that will support training flights of MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAVs in unrestricted airspace beginning in 2014.
France and the UK signed MoUs for the first phase of a Future Combat Air System (FCAS) based on a UCAV, and for industrial and military cooperation on the Watchkeeper tactical UAV. But although British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond reported “excellent progress on UAVs” after a meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, no agreement was reached on joint-study funding for a Male UAV.
Essential Flight Technology and NavWorx have joined to make the Pads WxBox, a portable ADS-B receiver designed to deliver free weather information to mobile devices. Pads WxBox will work with iOS (Apple), Android and Windows mobile devices wirelessly via Bluetooth or with a USB cable. The device will provide Flight Information Service-Broadcast (FIS-B) over the 978 MHz UAT datalink via the growing network of ADS-B ground stations in the U.S.
The developer of a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) that is orders of magnitude smaller than other radars was awarded a $24 million contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Natick, Mass., to build a “lightweight, ultra-wideband” SAR for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for completion in 2017.
Northrop Grumman gained a $1.7 billion (€1.2 billion) contract to supply five Block 40 Global Hawk UAVs with advanced multi-platform radar technology insertion program (MP-RTIP) radars for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program.
LightSquared filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, explaining that it needs “breathing room” to resolve regulatory issues that have prevented it from building its planned 4G broadband wireless network.
Fort Launderdale, Florida FBO Banyan Air Service (Stand 456) has just completed equipping its ramp to meet requirements for the new Gulfstream G650 and G280 corporate jets. These aircraft, set to enter service this year, are equipped with new maintenance systems that depend on wireless connectivity to deliver its messages to mechanics and to facilitate software repair and updates to components.