Transponders, Transceivers For GA Aircraft and Drones

FreeFlight DataLink

Utilizing Aviation Week’s Marketplace, the BCA Staff has collated recent announcements of newly certified transponders and transceivers for general aviation aircraft and drones.

ADS-B Datalink

FreeFlight Systems of Irving, Texas, announced that its Datalink ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) system has received Approved Model List Supplemental Type Certificate approval covering 400 FAA Part 23 aircraft types, including Beechcraft, Cessna, Cirrus and Piper models.

Available in both receiver and transceiver options, the Datalink ADS-B system has received five certifications for ADS-B: transmission on the 978 MHz UAT frequency; receiving flight information broadcast services (FIS-B); receiving and processing aircraft surveillance application systems; receiving traffic information systems broadcasting (TIS-B) and GPS. 

The unit interfaces with an aircraft’s Traffic Advisory System and TCAS, and supports Ethernet, RS-232, and ARINC 429 data interfaces. It also interfaces with tablet applications.

For operators using FreeFlight’s RANGR series ADS-B systems, the company offers a $2,500 trade-in to upgrade to the new Datalink transceiver.

Mode S Transponder

uAvionix Tail BeaconuAvionix, of Bigfork, Montana, announced FAA technical standard order (TSO) authorization of its tailBeaconX 1090 MHz automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) transponder, which replaces a rear navigation light on general aviation aircraft.

The tailBeacon X combines a transponder, 1090 MHz ADS-B Out signaling, satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) GPS position source, and rear LED position light. It integrates with the uAvionix AV-30-C primary flight display for transponder control and GPS input.

The transponder antenna is compatible with both terrestrial ADS-B ground stations and the Aireon space-based ADS-B network, which uses receivers on Iridium Next satellites.

Supplemental type certification programs “are in work” for a large Approved Model List of aircraft, with completion expected in the first quarter 2021. uAvionix is offering the tailBeaconX for pre-order for $2,499, with a $300 discount to bundle it with the AV-30-C display.

Micro IFF Transponder

Sagetech IFF TransponderThe U.S. Defense Department AIMS Program Office has certified the Sagetech Avionics’ MX12B micro Mode 5 Identification Friend of Foe (IFF) transponder for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to the AIMS 17-1000 Mark XIIB specification. 

The certification, awarded on Feb. 5, 2021, significantly expands the ability of NATO and U.S. allied forces to use small drones during missions, the company said. 

The MX12B weighs 6.7 oz. and measures 3.4 in. height by 2.5 in. width by 1 in. depth. It is compliant with the NATO STANAG 4193 IFF specification and has integrated automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) Out/In functionality.

Sagetech, based in White Salmon, Washington, has performed live demonstrations of the MX12B interoperating with multiple crypto computers at the U.S. Navy IMPAX 2020 event, for the U.S Army and for major UAS manufacturers.