New Survey on ADS-B Tracking for Small Drones

Drone Analyst has launched a new 10-question research survey on unmanned traffic management technology to get your opinions about ADS-B solutions for small drones.  You can take the brief survey here:

Here’s the background: The technology for tracking small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) has advanced rapidly in the past few years.  New and disparate solutions all claim great promise.  Most of these solutions are based on the use of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS–B), a cooperative surveillance technology in which an aircraft determines its position via satellite navigation and periodically broadcasts it, enabling it to be tracked by ground control station. ADS-B signals can also be received by other aircraft to provide situational awareness and allow self-separation

While ADS-B is a cornerstone of next-gen air traffic modernization and integral to NASA’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Traffic Management (UTM) plan, some civil aviation groups like the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) say the high cost of the necessary avionics and the lack of direct benefits are the two greatest barriers to adoption.

This research invites a discussion about the role ADS-B plays in integrating civil UAS with the National Airspace System and its effect on commercial use of UAS.  It seeks to determine if ADS-B is the right solution for small UAS operating in low altitude class G airspace.

The resulting research study will answer the following key questions:

  1. What is ADS-B, where is it mandatory, and what are the adoption rates for manned aircraft?

  2. What new solutions or solutions under development do and do not incorporate ADS-B as part of their technology for UAS sense and avoid?

  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of ADS-B for commercial use of small UAS in U.S. Class G airspace?