Sagetech Transponder Enables PAE ISR Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations in Civil Airspace

Sagetech Corporation once again proved small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) can safely fly in controlled airspace using the same technology that has helped maintain flight safety for decades.

A PAE ISR Resolute Eagle UAS, equipped with a Sagetech XPC-TR-50 Mode C transponder, successfully completed a mission in civil airspace on November 8, 2017. The flight took place at the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range located at Pendleton Airport in Oregon while operating under an FAA Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA).

Resolute Eagle is a fixed wing tactical UAS that offers advanced performance for use in civil or military airspace. Without a transponder, the aircraft’s small size makes it virtually invisible to Air Traffic Control (ATC). Sagetech’s military-certified XP transponder eliminates this issue, allowing the Resolute Eagle unmanned airplane to operate safely while sharing airspace with manned aircraft.

“Sagetech is delighted that PAE ISR selected our transponder to demonstrate commercial capability of the Resolute Eagle UAS in civil airspace,” says Kelvin Scribner, Sagetech’s chief executive officer. “Sagetech’s technology has been a key enabler of small UAS military operations for over 15 years and PAE ISR’s flight from the Pendleton, OR airport marks another step as our products transition from military to civil use.”

UAS operations are projected to increase sharply in civil airspace in the coming decade. This event signifies PAE ISR’s ability to offer a dynamic platform to a broader customer set; successfully fulfilling U.S. commercial and civilian requirements in addition to U.S. military missions.

Aviation transponders are a key part of the system air traffic controllers use to maintain safe separation between aircraft.  Moreover, small UAS are not detectable passively by ATC radars because of their small size.  Sagetech’s transponders allow even these naturally stealthy aircraft to integrate seamlessly with existing ATC radar systems.


PAE ISR LLC is a joint venture of PAE, American Operations Corporation (AOC), and Battlespace Flight Services, LLC (BFS) providing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance solutions and services to U.S. government agencies, NATO, and other international organizations.  As a lead systems integrator and full-service provider for unmanned aerial systems, PAE ISR has significant experience in system integration, test and evaluation, operations and maintenance, logistics, training, deployment support, and leased UAS services.