Time to buy PING units if you are in South Africa, but make sure the antenna points up. South Africa will use space-based ADS-B. A service provided by Aireon the customer facing interface is by Flightaware.
The reason South Africa is using space-based ADS-B is quite simple, most of the FIR (Flight Information Region) is blue, extending as it does to the Antarctic and South America.
I hear there are plans to roll out ground stations so fingers crossed.
Commercially operated drones are considered aircraft here and carry ZT registrations. I have no doubt that the authority will make ADS-B transponders a requirement. Thankfully they already exist.
uAvionix PING units are compliant with SACAA requirements, how they fare with our radio regulator, ICASA will be another thing.
PING transceivers are plug and play with Ardupilot and DJI based systems.
I would put money down on the SACAA and ICASA demanding an inspection of the installation that costs more than the units themselves.
This is a good thing for the drone industry in South Africa, it will make each side visible to each other.
Experiments in ADS-B will be part of my talk at Drones Conference 2017, Kempton Park at the back end of June.
The proposed fitment of approved ADS-B equipage in South Africa is as follows:
2018 – IFR Forward fit: Any aircraft that is first registered on or after 1 January 2018 and is operated under IFR must carry a serviceable ADS-B transponder that complies with the requirements below.
2020 – All IFR aircraft: On and after 1 April 2020 operated under IFR must carry a serviceable ADS-B transponder that complies with the requirements below.
2020 – Mode S for New aircraft and Mode S for Newly installed transponders: Any aircraft that is first registered or modified by having its transponder replaced on or after 1 April 2020, and is operated in Class A, B, C or E airspace must carry a serviceable ADS-B and Mode-S transponder that complies with the requirements below.
Any aircraft that operates above 10,000 feet AMSL in all declared airspace types must carry a serviceable ADS-B transponder that complies with the requirements below.
Mode S and ADS-B Transponder Requirements
In order to realise the full operational benefits of ADS-B, it is recommended that the equipment meets the current standard 1090ES ADS-B Link Version 2 (RTCA/DO-260B/EUROCAE ED-102A) for transponders fitted to aircraft operating in South African airspace.Aircraft that are required to carry ADS-B transponders for the purposes of using Space-Based ADS-B will be required to have their antennae fitted on to the top of the fuselage in order for the antenna to be within line-of-sight of the Space-Based ADS-B satellite constellation.
(RTCA/DO-260B/EUROCAE ED-102A) transponders feature both ADS-B “out”, as well as ADS-B “in” for the purposes of Traffic Information Service Broadcast (TIS-B), and Flight Information Service (FIS-B). TIS-B allows for ADS-B “in” equipped aircraft to be provided with an electronic presentation of surrounding traffic in a lateral, longitudinal, and vertical display on their Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI) equipment.
TIS-B is a Data Link-based Weather and Information system that uplinks pertinent data to the CDTI suite for improved Weather and other related information.
The availability of FIS, and TIS-B increases situational awareness and safety exponentially.
In South Africa, (RTCA/DO-260B/EUROCAE ED-102A) compliant transponders shall include only those operating on 1090 MHz. This standard will expressly exclude the use of Universal Access Transceivers (UAT) that operates on 978 MHz.
In addition to meeting the above requirements, the equipment shall also be certified in accordance with the FAA or EASA (E)TSO-C166() or a later approved version.
The mode S transponder equipment shall be certified in accordance with the FAA or EASA (E)TSO-C112 or a later approved version.
The aircrafts unique 24 bit address’ (otherwise known as the mode S code issued by the South African Civil Aviation Authority) shall be strapped to the transponders without error and ensuring that it corresponds exactly with the binary or hexadecimal address issued. Confirmation of the correct strapping must be conducted by using the correct ramp test equipment. Application for this code must be made to the SACAA using form CA 91-12 which can be found on the SACAA website and must be accompanied by the appropriate fee.
The GNSS position source shall be certified in accordance with FAA or EASA (E)TSO-C145a, (E)TSO-C146a or (E)TSO-C196a or later approved versions. Some later versions of GNSS receivers certified to (E) TSO-C129 may also meet the requirements, i.e. those having FDE and HPL features incorporated.
The altitude source equipment supplying the pressure altitude to be transmitted by the ADS-B equipment shall be certified in accordance with the FAA or EASA (E)TSO-C88a or a later approved version.