Kongsberg Geospatial, an Ottawa-based developer of real-time geospatial visualisation software, announced today with uAvionix, a California-based company that creates lightweight ADS-B transponders for unmanned aerial vehicles, that the two companies will be integrating Kongsberg Geospatial’s IRIS UAS Airspace Situational Awareness Display with uAvionix’s PingStation ADS-B receiver.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast, or ADS-B transceivers help track the exact position of aircraft or drones in real time. uAvionix has created tiny, lightweight, and inexpensive ADS-B transceivers that can easily be installed in small UAVs, and the PingStation – a rugged, portable ground-based receiver that tracks the position of ADS-B-equipped aircraft within a range of up to 150 miles.
Kongsberg Geospatial has been providing real-time geospatial and spatial awareness technology to support air traffic management, air defense applications, and unmanned systems for nearly three decades. Their IRIS UAS situational awareness display had its genesis in supporting military UAV flight operations, and was developed to help operators safely pilot UAVs beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS).
By integrating the PingStation receiver with the IRIS UAS display, the two companies hope to create a portable and inexpensive solution that would dramatically increase the safety of commercial drone flight operations – especially when operating beyond visual line-of-sight.
PingStation is a lightweight, compact antenna that can quickly be erected on a pole mount, while the IRIS UAS software can be operated on a variety of Ground Control Station displays – or even a Windows Surface tablet. The combined system allows operators to quickly set up and begin tracking the position of their UAV and any nearby aircraft equipped with ADS-B transceivers.
“PingStation is a great fit for the IRIS display,” said Ranald McGillis, President of Kongsberg Geospatial. “It provides an efficient and cost-effective way of accurately tracking small unmanned systems, and in combination with the airspace visualization that IRIS UAS provides it will dramatically increase the safety of unmanned flight operations wherever it’s in use.”