Since the withdrawal of approval in February for LightSquared’s planned use of frequencies adjacent to those of GPS to set up a nationwide 4G mobile broadband network, things have recently taken an unexpected turn. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) withdrew LightSquared’s approval earlier this year after transmission tests revealed interference issues with GPS receivers.
Global Positioning System
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.
While the Iranian capture of the Sentinel caught public attention, it also allowed researchers to show that spoofing technology has been, and continues to be, closely investigated by a number of military and civilian facilities in the United States.
Last December an old, rarely used word–spoofing, –meaning to hoax or to fool others–entered worldwide aviation vocabularies virtually overnight. Simultaneously it brought a new and disturbing strategic escalation to military tactics and a potential, albeit probably lesser, threat to civil aircraft operations.
The ADS-B system that is the cornerstone of the FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization plan is at risk of serious security breaches, according to Brad Haines (aka RenderMan), a hacker and network security consultant who is worried about ADS-B vulnerabilities.
Broomfield, Colo.-based JetTech announced yesterday that it received FAA STC approval to install touchscreen Garmin GTN 650/750 GPS navcoms on 500-series Cessna Citations, to include the 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and 560. The approval covers installation of the GPS navcoms, as well as Garmin GTX 33 transponders, remote GMA35 audio panels and GA35/37 antennas. In addition, the STC includes Waas approvals.
FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta offered a glimpse into the agency’s plans for integrating unmanned aerial vehicles into U.S. domestic airspace during the August 7 Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International in Las Vegas, but details about precisely how the FAA plans to make the integration of UAVs into domestic airspace work left some skeptics scratching their heads.
Pilots flying in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) monitoring airspace will soon find themselves becoming familiar with another new compliance standard, as well as a new acronym, AGHME. This stands for Aircraft Geometric Height Measurement Element, and Nov.
Garmin unveiled a pair of ADS-B units and a new solid-state weather radar system yesterday, further broadening its avionics product line.
The company’s new GDL 88 is a dual-link ADS-B solution, which transmits and receives on 978 MHz and also receives on 1090 MHz. Its ability to receive on both 978 and 1090 MHz means that it can detect traffic transmitting on either ADS-B OUT frequency and receive subscription-free weather data on 978 MHz. ADS-B OUT capability for flying above 18,000 feet or outside the U.S. could be added with a GTX 330/33 ES transponder.
Garmin has added its technological muscle to the market for external GPS receivers for mobile devices, not only using GPS but also by receiving signals from Russia’s Glonass constellation. Yesterday Garmin unveiled its GLO receiver, which connects to Apple and Android devices wirelessly via Bluetooth and offers battery life of 12 hours and 10-times-per-second position update rate.