Dynon Transponders and ADS-B in Canada

Spunk

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I just read the article below about Canada and their future requirement for 1090 MHz satellite based ADS-B. The US has a satellite and ground based system with most general aviation installations using 978 MHz which possibly won't be legal in Canada in a few years, at least that's what I gather from the article. I looked at Dynon's transponder, the SV-XPNDR-261, and it says it's US-only despite using 1090MHz. Will this be legal in Canada if they do make it mandatory? If not, does Dynon have anything in the works to satisfy the requirement?

https://cessnaowner.org/ads-b-in-ca...il&utm_term=0_98f07e050d-2ac13e963c-580879773
 

Stevec

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I am using a 261 transponder in New Zealand so it’s definitely not US only.
 

Rhino

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From what I've seen, it wouldn't be suitable for the satellite based system in Canada, mostly because that system requires different antenna locations. Just using the same frequency also doesn't necessarily mean it uses the same data protocols, though I suspect that it would. Ultimately though, it will be up to the Canadian government to decide if it's acceptable or not. As far as I know, they haven't released the final technical requirements yet, or exactly how they'll regulate them.
 

Spunk

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From what I've seen, it wouldn't be suitable for the satellite based system in Canada, mostly because that system requires different antenna locations. Just using the same frequency also doesn't necessarily mean it uses the same data protocols, though I suspect that it would. Ultimately though, it will be up to the Canadian government to decide if it's acceptable or not. As far as I know, they haven't released the final technical requirements yet, or exactly how they'll regulate them.
Rhino, that article says you'll need both an upper and lower antenna. It would be great if that's all that's needed.
 

Rhino

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Unfortunately it's more complicated than just adding an extra antenna. The transponder has to be able to work with two antennas (diversity), and most aren't last I checked. There are also concerns with installation, some involving exacting cable lengths. In any case, I've seen nothing that indicates the Dynon transponder is capable of operating in Canada's space based system.
 

Colin Pazdzior

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At the moment, there is no ADS-B mandate in Canada, and guidance from TC and Nav Canada has been withdrawn.... However, the expectation is that there will be a future requirement for 1090ES diversity equipment that supports space based ADS-B, as Nav Canada is one of the founding partners of Aireon, and they've stated in the past that this will be the path forward.

There aren't many GA transponders that support 1090ES diversity OUT at the moment - the common ones I'm aware of are:

-Garmin GTX 335D / GTX 345D (note the D for diversity - it's a different hardware variant than the non-diversity model, so diversity can't be added through an upgrade)
-L3 ACSS Lynx NGT-9000D (again, note the D - transponder is the same hardware with or without diversity, which is added by the "D" licence enablement and top antenna, so a non-diversity NGT-9000 CAN be upgraded)
-uAvionix TailBeaconX - TSO is supposedly coming soon... tail position light mount transponder with dual antenna blades designed to radiate signal up and down, and to be compatible with satellite based ADS-B

It'd be great if Dynon added a diversity model to the lineup, or barring that, the ability to remotely control the above units (Garmin and L3 are both available in remote mount form as well as panel mount, and the TailBeaconX is always remote and requires a panel mount or EFIS controller).
 
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GalinHdz

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Unfortunately it's more complicated than just adding an extra antenna. The transponder has to be able to work with two antennas (diversity), and most aren't last I checked. There are also concerns with installation, some involving exacting cable lengths. In any case, I've seen nothing that indicates the Dynon transponder is capable of operating in Canada's space based system.
True but look at the tailBeaconX system which only uses one antenna. Modern transponder antennas are omnidirectional so when installed on a metal airplane, where the signal is blocked in one direction, two are needed . Now if you have a fiberglass or cloth airplane then the signal is not blocked so you only need one antenna for any transponder to work as the tailBeaconX does. ;)
 
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Rhino

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Yes, the tailBeaconX is one of those few that already work with satellites, as Colin noted. They haven't actually confirmed it would work with Canada's system yet, but that's probably because Canada has delayed releasing the performance specifications and requirements. And technically it has two antennas.
 

Rhino

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It has two vertically oriented blade antenna elements. If it were one, it would have very strange polarization. Two antennas makes diversity easier anyway, which is presumably why they went that way. Regardless, it's presumed to work on the proposed Canadian system.
 

vlittle

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It's not just Canada. It's most every country except the USA that will be using space-based ADS-B. There is no downside from mounting a diversity transponder. In fact, it provides superior ship-to-ship traffic detection (hence the dual mode Dynon ADSB-472). Since the diversity transponder is backwards-compatible with the US requirements, there is no down-side and a big upside to using one (better traffic detection and international compliance).

Unfortunately, Dynon does not directly support the uAvionix tailBeaconX (although AFS does). This is more of a political issue than a technical issue. Apparently there was a bit of a falling out between uAvionix and Dynon, much to the detriment of Canadian customers. I have the integration guides for the tailBeaconX, so I can write my own control head code for one of my flight displays, but it would sure be better for Dynon to support it directly.

One the other hand, I have been waiting 9 months for the TSO version of the tailBeaconX, despite their announcment. The experimental version is available as a fall-back but both are the same price.

Oh... Aerion will also provide a breadcrumb trail to SAR if you ever go missing. Almost makes an ELT redundant.
 

Rhino

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Where do you get that most countries are going to space based systems? I haven't seen that anywhere. I know that systems like ALAS are available widely, but that doesn't mean the nations covered are officially using it or any other spaced based systems. The US is covered by ALAS, and it doesn't use that system. If space based ADS-B has indeed been widely adopted by governments, I'd sure like to see something on that. Any pilot contemplating international travel would be interested to see information on compatibility in various countries he or she might visit. I may never actually fly internationally, but I like to keep my options open.

Not that it makes much difference in the context here, but diversity and dual band (mode) are two very different things. The ship to ship advantages of dual band are related to using two frequency bands, and aren't the same as diversity, which is related to two antennas instead of one, but in the same band. Diversity may indeed offer improved ship to ship reception, but not due to being dual band.
 

airguy

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I haven't heard of any countries other than Canada considering the space-based system, but it makes sense to go that route for them. ADSB requires a large network of ground transmit/receive infrastructure, which the US has by default as the largest GA user in the world by far. Other countries are faced with either building out huge infrastructure at a large cost to the government (or users via user fees), or simply subscribing to Aerion. The choice is obvious, and they don't/won't care one slightest bit that it causes pain for the US operators having to add diversity antennae and transponders. If I was HMFIC of some small country faced with the choice of how to implement ADSB, I know Aerion would be in first place. I don't like it, but I'm expecting it.
 

soarhead

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Pretty sure most of us will be long buried before Canada gets itself organized with any actual legislated ADS-B requirements for GA. I have the Dynon 261 and 472, 1090 ES ADS-B in and out. I flew along the U.S. border and quickly got an approval for "all systems go" from the FAA. After checking in with Montreal Center, I asked if they were getting any ADS-B data from my aircraft. The response was that "they don't even have any equipment in the Centers to receive ADS-B data below FL180 and there is nothing on the horizon to say that they will get anything any time soon". It wasn't that long ago that they finally mandated Mode C in the Terminal areas. The only reason I can see that Canada is considering the Space Based system is to provide coverage for the vast remote areas between Northern settlements below FL180 without needing to build and maintain ground stations. Most of us above FL180 are using ADS-C anyway. It just isn't that high up the priority list.
 

Colin Pazdzior

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For satellite based ADS-B, the Aireon Wikipedia page has the following as of today:

National ANSPs including Nav Canada, UK NATS, ENAV, IAA, AAI, Naviair, Isavia, CAAS of Singapore, ATNS of South Africa, DC-ANSP, ASECNA, Seychelles (SCAA), COCESNA Honduras and PNG of Papua New Guinea have signed a Data Services Agreement with Aireon.

More ANSPs do seem to be signing on as time goes on, though I'm not aware of any that are requiring satellite based ADS-B in low level airspace... at least not yet....it may be a few years. Most seem to be using it for high level airspace and non-radar airspace so far, or are in early stages of introduction. As soarhead said, Nav Canada doesn't seem to have integrated their satellite based ADS-B datafeed into most sectors so far (which always seems silly when passing out of radar coverage in an airplane equipped with diversity 1090ES "OUT" that their systems, somewhere, have knowledge of). In time, I'd imagine this will change, but it won't be tomorrow.

One other point is aside from diversity - 1090ES vs UAT "OUT" - UAT is deployed only in the US - every other country deploying ADS-B surveillance, even ground based, uses exclusively 1090ES so far.

Last one was mentioned earlier, and that is better SAR coverage with 1090ES diversity, with breadcrumbs at (I believe 2s) resolution to last known position - that's a lot better than an ELT that may or may not work. SAR in Canada uses this, and so does the Civil Air Patrol in the US. Essentially, Aireon tracks all transmitting 1090ES diversity aircraft globally, all the time. If SAR authorities call them, they provide a report of the last flight, and quickly.

What is Aireon ALERT​

Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (ALERT) is the aviation industry’s first and only free global emergency aircraft location service. Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), commercial aircraft operators/airlines, regulators and search and rescue organizations in need of crucial aircraft location data, can rely on Aireon ALERT to help provide an ADS-B OUT 1090MHz equipped aircraft’s most recently known position. As a free service, Aireon ALERT fills a critical need, ensuring search and rescue personnel have the most accurate aircraft position data available when responding to an incident, regardless of global location.

Aireon ALERT utilizes Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data and is operated by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA). The Aireon ALERT 24/7 communications facility is located at IAA’s North Atlantic Communications Centre in Ballygirreen, Ireland. Aireon ALERT users do not have to be customers of Aireon or IAA. All users simply have to register for the free emergency service.

Private companies can also sign up in advance to be able to access these reports in an emergency, at https://aireonalert.com/

Who can sign up for the Aireon ALERT?​

ANSPs, Commercial Aircraft Operators/Airlines, Search & Rescue Organizations and Regulators can all register for the Aireon ALERT completely free. You do not need to be an Aireon or IAA customer to take advantage of this service. There is 100% global coverage and it’s available 24/7/365. It is required that a company/official email address is used so that administrators can verify the registrant is actually with the registering organization.
 

Rhino

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A data services agreement isn't the same thing as adoption of the system as the national tracking standard, or even mandatory, but it's nice to see so many nations taking advantage of it nevertheless. It aso appears Aireon ALERT doesn't provide live tracking. It only provides position for an aircraft in an emergency status, which I presume they do with the system in the aircraft. It's also limited to air carriers. GA isn't included. Still, it's better than nothing.
 

Colin Pazdzior

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A data services agreement isn't the same thing as adoption of the system as the national tracking standard, or even mandatory, but it's nice to see so many nations taking advantage of it nevertheless.
That's true - but I believe most of those listed ANSPs do plan to make operational use of space based ADS-B, and about a third are the founding partners.

It aso appears Aireon ALERT doesn't provide live tracking. It only provides position for an aircraft in an emergency status, which I presume they do with the system in the aircraft. It's also limited to air carriers. GA isn't included. Still, it's better than nothing.

Yes, the ALERT service is for emergencies only. National SAR providers (including CAP in the US) have access to this service - no matter who they're looking for - airline or GA. If you want to request a report yourself, you have to be a commercial operator, ANSP, or SAR provider, and have registered in advance. Some searches will show that CAP in the US (and Canadian SAR) regularly use the service.

If you want real-time data outside of that, they have it and are happy to sell it to you. Their commercial partner is FlightAware, and they'll sell you a customized map with real-time satellite based ADS-B data for your fleet (public FlightAware does not show satellite derived data). They'll even allow you to set alert parameters for descent rate, groundspeed, height above terrain, squawk codes, etc - all real-time and global. Trouble is, they charge rates that are more in line with what airlines and business jet operators can afford.... far too high for light GA, charter, etc.....So we still rely on Garmin InReach fleet tracking, despite our aircraft being tracked real-time by Aireon - they just charge too much for the data.
 

Rhino

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Yeah, we don't have the money that commercial operators do, so we get ignored. That's why it sometimes takes a government mandate to field stuff out to GA. I'm kinda with soarhead. I don't think we'll see this finalized anytime soon. I'm wondering if we'll get into a battle of tech companies like the old VHS vs Beta war. That might actually make it more interesting.
 

Colin Pazdzior

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Yeah, that's a fair point. The one thing that I think is settled is that, outside of the US, 1090ES will be the ADS-B standard that all, or the vast majority of, countries will adopt when moving to ADS-B based ATC surveillance.

Many ANSPs will deploy (and some have) ground based stations, but a good number seem likely to deploy satellite based ADS-B, which will require diversity (or solutions that accomplish same like the TailBeaconX).

Within the US, it's immaterial. If you're outside of the US, or planning to operate outside of the US, 1090ES with diversity should allow you to operate anywhere in the world there is a foreseeable ADS-B mandate coming in the next few years.

All that said though... who knows.
 
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