Increase your knowledge of the ADS-B System

What is ADS-B?

ADS-B, or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, is a new technology that allows air traffic controllers to see traffic with more precision than ever before. Instead of relying on decades-old radar technology, ADS-B uses highly accurate GPS signals. As a result, ADS-B works where radar often doesn’t — even in remote areas or mountainous terrain. And because it can function at low altitudes and on the ground, it can also be used to monitor traffic on airport taxiways and runways. Air traffic controllers aren’t the only ones who will see the benefits of ADS-B, though. Aircraft with certain equipment can also receive ADS-B traffic and subscription-free weather information while in flight over the U.S.

How does ADS-B work?

Properly equipped aircraft will broadcast their identity, position, track, speed and other vital data via what’s called ADS-B “Out” technology. Air traffic control ground stations and ADS-B “In” equipped aircraft receive this information once every second. These ADS-B ground stations are broadcasting traffic information — and subscription-free weather in the U.S. — back up to properly equipped aircraft in the service area for display in the cockpit.

What are the benefits?

Air traffic controllers will be able to reduce congestion, noise, emission and fuel consumption through more efficient routing and resource management. Because the system has the ability to provide pilots access to detailed traffic information, ADS-B also represents a leap forward in pilot situational awareness and will greatly enhance the safety of all those in the air.
With optional ADS-B “In” equipment, properly equipped aircraft can also receive highly accurate traffic information directly from other aircraft and ADS-B signal corrections. In the U.S., they can also access graphical NEXRAD radar information, as well as METARs, TAFs and other subscription-free aviation weather information.

When should I equip for ADS-B?

In the U.S., if you operate in airspace that currently requires a Mode C or Mode S transponder, you’ll need to be equipped with ADS-B “Out” by 2020.

What equipment do I need for compliance?

First and foremost, you’ll need a WAAS position source. Next you’ll need a way to broadcast this information to ADS-B ground stations. If your aircraft flies at or above 18,000 ft over the U.S., or anywhere internationally, you will be required to use the 1090 MHz frequency using a Mode S Extended Squitter (ES) transponder.

Why should I pay for ADS-B “In” if I’m only required to have “Out”?

If you only equip for ADS-B “Out,” you’re investing a lot of money without seeing any real benefit in the cockpit. You’re simply transmitting your position to ATC and other aircraft in your vicinity. But by adding and ADS-B “In” datalink receiver and a compatible cockpit display, you’d also be able to view highly accurate traffic data from other aircraft and ADS-B ground stations, as well as subscription-free weather information (U.S. only). You’d gain valuable situational awareness and safety with minimal investment versus what you’d need for ADS-B compliance anyway.

Where should I take my aircraft to have it equipped to meet the requirements and my budget?

Freedom Air Avionics is a certified dealer for all manufacturers. We are here to serve you as expediently as possible whether you want the basic or most advanced systems in your airplane. Give us a call and allow us to impress you with our customer care and service! We thank you for the opportunity.