Avionics News July 2019 - 24

ADS-B IN OPTIONS ABOUND
Continued from page 23

ADS-B In quickly proved itself immensely popular among
pilots across the spectrum.
First, what exactly is available via ADS-B In? Read on.
Two flavors of In: weather and traffic,
plus a bit more
The FAA provides two flavors of Automatic Dependent
Surveillance-Broadcast In, one to help pilots see and
avoid things that go "bump" in the sky, the other to help
those same pilots see and avoid inclement weather - while
staying abreast of current conditions, weather trends and
specific reports for airports along a route.
The traffic-avoidance tool goes by the formal name of
Traffic Information Services-Broadcast, most often seen as
TIS-B.
The weather-status tool, similarly, carries the label Flight
Information Services-Broadcast, typically shown as FIS-B.
Their popularity stems directly from those "free" services
available to pilots who choose to equip their cockpits with
some type of ADS-B In receiver.
Popularity means a deep market. To meet the demands of
that market, avionics makers developed an enormous range
of ADS-B In solutions.
Pilots get to choose from home-rolled ADS-B In receivers,
assembled out of raw components for $80 to $100; $200
factory-made dongles that receive ADS-B In products
and display the results wirelessly on smartphones, tablet
and notebook computers; stand-alone ADS-B In receivers
meant for permanent installation; and ADS-B In receivers
integrated into ADS-B Out systems capable of displaying the
In products on cockpit-installed and portable displays.
The options seem to cover a solution suitable for every
type and size of cockpit, from single-seat to tandem-seat,
four-place to commercial.
Pilots long ago started voting their support for ADS-B In
with their wallets.
ADS-B In receivers remain extremely popular, in
part because they give pilots access to safety-of-flight
information, in-flight, via a variety of devices - and for
no more cost than the expense of the ADS-B In receiver
needed to gain access to its services.
In fact, so popular is ADS-B In that many professional
pilots - aviators flying well-equipped business-turbine
and air-carrier aircraft sporting cockpits with integrated
avionics packages - use ADS-B In services as an
addition to the onboard avionics delivering the same
services, some via subscription-based products - and all
requiring dedicated avionics to receive the services.
24

avionics news

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july

2019

Of course, pilots long ago gained access to several
alternatives to the FAA's ADS-B In "carrot," and have used
them for years.
The rub for the majority of aircraft owners and pilots is
most traffic-avoidance avionics capable of replacing one
FAA-provided service - TIS-B - cost thousands of dollars
to purchase and install.
The equipment to gain FIS-B, the weather side, cost
hundreds to thousands of dollars. And requires payment of a
monthly subscription to access.
Thanks to the low expense of establishing these ADS-B
In services, however, the FAA can broadcast these two
different, complementary and useful services using the
funds generated by existing aviation excise taxes. Investing
in the receiver - acknowledging that most pilots already
own a viable display option - can cost far less.
Both services are, from the reaction of pilots using them,
worth far more than what we "pay" to access them.
The breakdown of FIS-B: weather
FIS-B is available almost without gaps across the
continental U.S and in Alaska - so mostly wherever you're
flying - and visible before the aircraft gets there.
That's an oversimplified snapshot of FIS-B's products
and services.
Among the advantages for pilots flying with a 978 MHz
UAT is that basic FIS-B services are available at no cost
- and these are services comparable to an XM weather
subscription service.
Currently, FIS-B offers the following communications
services:
* Aviation weather products such as METARs, TAFs,
winds aloft and NEXRAD weather radar images,
with precipitation maps and more.
* Temporary flight restrictions and status updates for
special use airspace.
* AIRMETs, SIGMETs and convective SIGMETs.
* Pilot reports, or PIREPs.
* NOTAMs, both distant and FDC.
The package is noteworthy because that's the package
the FAA provided at the start of ADS-B In services.
In 2018, the FAA added more depth to FIS-B. Users
needed to update their ADS-B In software, but such
updates were largely accomplished before the new
services became available in the fall. The services?
* Center weather advisories.
* Cloud tops.
* Graphical AIRMETs.
* Icing probability forecast.
* Lightning strikes.
* Turbulence.



Avionics News July 2019

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