Americas Sensors

Robotic Skies Completes First Field Installation of Garmin® GDL® 84 ADS-B Solution into an Unmanned Aircraft


Robotic Skies announced today that it has completed the first field installation of a Garmin GDL 84 Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) datalink solution into an unmanned platform. Garmin dealer Kings Avionics, Inc., of Henderson, Nevada, a full service Part 145 repair facility and Robotic Skies’ founding partner, performed the installation. The GDL 84 was installed into an Unmanned Systems Incorporated (USI) SandstormTM aircraft that is currently engaged in airspace integration testing in Nevada, and operates under an Experimental Type Certificate.

The GDL 84 is a straightforward solution for aircraft owners who do not already have a compatible WAAS GPS position source on board their aircraft thanks to its built-in WAAS GPS receiver. The GDL 84 is an all-inclusive solution, which meets regulatory requirements and the benefits of ADS-B without the cost associated with a large installation.

“As the ADS-B market leader, we’re thrilled to work with Robotic Skies to expand our portfolio of solutions to now encompass an unmanned aircraft platform,” said Carl Wolf, vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “The GDL 84 brings this UAV installation a straightforward and integrated solution to exceed the needs of their aerial operations, further demonstrating the versatility of a Garmin Vantage ADS-B solution.”

“We were looking for an ADS-B solution that would meet a wide range of system integration and performance requirements, and the Garmin GDL 84 fit the bill perfectly,” said Don Bintz, president of USI. “Robotic Skies technicians performed the installation and integration of the unit, and also assisted with design engineering issues related to onboard power management to accommodate the additional avionics.”

USI’s Sandstorm is a fixed wing vehicle with a 15-foot wingspan, and available in either gas or electric configurations. Remotely piloted via USI’s proprietary LongshotTM Internet control technology, the Sandstorm can be flown from ground control stations (GCS) that are hundreds, or even thousands of miles from the aircraft’s actual location.

Last September, USI announced that it had selected Robotic Skies to maintain its commercial fleet in the field. Now at over 65 service center locations throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and South Africa, Robotic Skies service centers are optimized to provide certification, maintenance and repair for the emerging commercial unmanned aircraft fleet. Drawing on only the best FAA Part 145 and air-agency approved maintenance organizations that currently maintain the manned aviation fleet, Robotic Skies offers comprehensive turnkey field service programs designed to keep high performance UAS flying safely.

“Robotic Skies, through its partner Kings Avionics, is proud to have completed the first field installation of a GDL 84 into an unmanned aircraft system,” said Brad Hayden, president and CEO of Robotic Skies. “As unmanned airframes take to the skies, we’ll see more of the legacy aviation companies provide services to this emerging market segment. Robotic Skies has every intention of leading the industry into new and exciting certification, installation, and maintenance opportunities in the unmanned space.”


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