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The Site That Lets You Track Planes In Real-Time Wants to Track Drones Too

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by pixl45, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. pixl45

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  2. Ryan Van Scotter

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    Interesting, but a bit pointless.

    Aside from the transponder issue, 107 removes the NOTAM requirement for commercial operations. The only NOTAMs will be posted by those who are operating under a 333 exemption and are required to do so. For most people that won't apply.

    I guess the exception would be a Firmware update that takes your data once you're powered up and sends it in via your cell connection. Of course to prevent interference I always turn my pads into airplane mode.
     
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  3. pixl45

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    You're assuming 107 will stand. Personally, I don't think it will. And I think it's just a matter of time for transponders on UAVs too.

    I think the Flight Radar folks have decided to add this capability so that they're there first as regs evolve, thereby protecting their market position in this space.
     
  4. licensed pilot

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  5. SanCap

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    I will continue to file NOTAMS for all of my commercial flights regardless if I am operating under my 333 or 107. It is easy to do and might CYA if a situation arises.
     
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  6. Ryan Van Scotter

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    What's the point of a transponder on a UAS, or more specifically a sUAS?

    Most of the modes are for ATC, in other than class G airspace. In most cases ACC and ARTCC can't even pick up a transponder until your well above 1000' often much higher. TCC in the terminal environment are all going to be B C and D airspace and require further consideration for UAS operations. TCAS and TCAS II are all inhibited below 1000' so again what's the point?

    Any feasibility study would consider the realistic implementation of a software based system in lieu of a hardware based systems. Additionally, the implementation cost and more importantly the cost to user would be significantly reduced. I suspect that any transponder requirements will be required only for those operating on a exemption. Despite the FAA's claim that they want to integrate UAS into the NAS, they are doing exactly the opposite by keeping UAS below 400' Once you get an exemption to exceed that limitation and "actually" become a part of the NAS, or exceed the 55lbs limit then transponders could be required. What about powered gliders, ultralights and ground shift vehicles? It just doesn't seem viable to start including too much because it'll never stop. The additional data clutter of thousands of drones would be more of a nuisance than and help.



    --MIL--
    Mode 1: Military 2 digit prefix based on ATO
    Mode 2: Military 4 digit prefix based on ATO
    --CIVIL--
    Mode 3A: 4 Digit prefix
    Mode 3C: 4 Digit prefix w/ Altitude encoding
    Mode 4: Pulse rely or "echo" used for ATC
    Mode 5: Mode S + GPS
    Mode S: Multi function ADSB
     
  7. licensed pilot

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    Are you a certificated pilot? Aircraft equipped with ADS-B receivers will be able to see you, that's the point...

    Stratus™ 2S ADS-B Receiver for iPad
    From the FAA website:

    What are the benefits of ADS-B?
    ADS-B for the first time allows pilots to see what controllers see: other aircraft in the sky around them. Pilots are also able to see – and avoid – bad weather and terrain, and receive flight information such as temporary flight restrictions. The improvement in situational awareness for pilots greatly increases safety.
     
  8. Ryan Van Scotter

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    Licensed Pilot,

    My certification is irrelevant, are you questioning my knowledge or trying to validate my opinion? For one, I don't know too many pilots that fly around below 400' on a routine basis unless they are landing or taking off. So explain to me how you think a drone with a transponder/ADS-B capabilities is going to increase your situational awareness while flying. Almost every system in place and in development uses some level of filtration to remove superfluous data, hence you don't get a TA when an aircraft is 8000' above you. So again, if drones are restricted to below 400', and away from airports why do you even care? Are you concerned with people violating the rules and putting you in danger? Do you want all UAS pilots to pay for systems because a few people violate the rules? I suspect the thought of ADS-B sounds good to a lot people, but the reality is that it has been rejected by the FAA as a sUAS requirement because of the segregated airspace that we fly in, the potential for an accident, and YES the cost to the public.

    Ryan.
     
  9. licensed pilot

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    Pointless to argue with the uninformed...
     
  10. Ryan Van Scotter

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    Licensed Pilot,

    It's people like you who hide their name and pretend that your opinion in infallible. I would tend to bet my aviation knowledge, training, and expertise far exceeds yours. You damage your own credibility when you include the ad hominem.

    Ryan
     
  11. licensed pilot

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    Allright, I apologize for calling you uninformed. Let's talk turkey.

    Your argument is fallacious, you picked 8,000 feet as some magical altitude at which a GA aircraft will not see an ADS-B equipped UAV at 400 feet(Have you tested this? Can you share the data?) . Detection of an RF signal is a combination of many factors: ground clutter, distance, and relative position between receiver and transmitter, signal strength, etc.. Obviously an aircraft 8k feet directly above a UAV pinging a signal may have difficulty detecting it from ground clutter. As the lateral distance between the receiver and pinger increases, the discrimination circuits within the receiver will have a greater sensitivity to signal discrimination and eventually will register it. It's a matter of position (Phytagorean theorem). The distance between transmitter and receiver is the hypotenuse, ground track is the side adjacent to the right angle. I was an Army avionics tech (radios, transponders) for 8 years so I do know a little bit about this. GA aircraft do fly lower than 8,000.

    ADS-B is a benefit to general aviation safety and if you fly you should understand that, instead of launching an attack on the technology here.
     
  12. Ryan Van Scotter

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    First of all I ever said ADS-B wouldn't see an aircraft 8000' above. What I said was was that, with respect to TCAS, a pilot would not receive a Traffic Advisory (TA) because the engineers deemed it irrelevant data and filter it out. There is no need to provide data or share the results, its in the operating manual. Despite your technical prowess of ADS-B and the trigonometry lesson, aircraft that are not a threat to safe operations simply don't need to be presented to pilots to create situational awareness.

    I'm not laughing an attack on ADS-B, it's great technology, it's just not needed on a drone. Its like putting GPS tracking devices on horses in two different corrals. If they are separated then whats the fuss, and why make the rancher buy GPS trackers. I don't see the need. Now, if you felt that the threat from rogue drone operators, or malicious pilots created a serious threat to the NAS and safe operations, then I would respectfully say you have a valid opinion. The solutions could be debated, hardware, software, cost, and overall effectiveness.
     
  13. licensed pilot

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    "aircraft that are not a threat to safe operations simply don't need to be presented to pilots to create situational awareness." Who says? That's for the PIC to decide, not ATC. As a GA pilot I want all available information regarding traffic around me; if my ADS-B receiver picks up a UAV nearby, what's the harm?

    I am not aware the FAA is mandating ADS-B on UAVs, only manned aircraft. As for the rest, we'll agree to agree.:rolleyes:
     
  14. RaptorMan

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    I think we'll see transponders on drones before long and in order for the industry to move into mission profiles that take drones beyond visual range of the pilot there will need to be systems in place to warn GA of drones flying those missions. ADS-B seems a good solution in the short term but I think there's room to expand it's capabilities to broadcast more info. It looks like there is some concern about the lack of encryption and authentication but that to is fixable I think. I have to believe just about all such electronics in this day and age are firmware upgradeable.


    Brian
     
  15. x5yo

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    I would like a site that lets you track planes and has a camera on the bottom of the plane, which transmits the video so you can see below it!

    I would gladly pay money for that. you could follow relatives on planes to holiday destinations etc, would be so much fun.
     
    #15 x5yo, Jul 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  16. licensed pilot

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    Kinda like stalking. ;)
     
  17. Dave Armbrust

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    We are just hitting the tip of the iceberg with Part 107. While Part 107 is far less restrictive than a 333 waiver or even under the model aircraft rules, it still is far too restrictive for the technology that exists today. The FAA knows that flight BVLOS, night flight, flight over people, UAS more than 55 pounds, etc. are all quite possible to do safely with the technology and that in the not too distant future they will need to address these issues. Still if we limit our vision to these issues we are not being very imaginative.

    Flights to deliver Pizza, packages, even people using UAS is all quite possible to do safely with the technology that we have today.

    If we stay below 400' there is a lot we can do, and will do, even in this limited airspace.

    While other manned aircraft are a concern, particularly helicopters which are allowed to go lower than 500' (see C.F.R. 14 Part 91.119), they are not the problem.

    The real problem is other UAS operating below 400'. How are autonomous drones to avoid each other? Drones must be able to sense other drones in real time with enough time for them to avoid each other. Short term this is probably ADS-B, long term I am not sure that ADS-B will hold up with the number of drones we can expect to see. We probably will need something that is more limited in range and is more drone to drone than ADS-B.

    The other item we need is far more low level detail for the terrain the drones are flying over. Enough detail that they can safely fly at very low altitudes autonomously without hitting stationary objects. I can easily envision a future where a building permit must include data base update for drones.

    The remaining issues are non-stationary objects such as sailboat, building cranes, even ladders. Perhaps someday the tables will turn and someone wanting to use a ladder that is taller than 10' will need to issue an electronic NOTAM.

    Technology has a way of catching up with sci-fi. The first iPad I saw was on star trek, the first apple watch I saw was on Dick Tracy, and I believe some day I will be able to say the first drone I saw was on the Jetsons. (Note the ADS-B antennas on the bottom)

    [​IMG]
     
    #17 Dave Armbrust, Jul 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
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  18. RaptorMan

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    The bandwidth for video is WAY TOO MUCH to do that from every plane -- not even remotely feasible at this time. I'd wager that the difference in data rate between the current ADS-B and something sending video would be 1000X and likely more.


    Brian
     
  19. x5yo

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    Rubbish, all you would need to do is stream it to something like youtube. Then simply charge people for connecting.
    As far as the planes bandwith is concerned, its only using it to stream to a single source on the ground and because the video is the same for everyone, its only one source needed. Its not like it would be accepting individual connections on the plane.

    Start off low quality with something like 480, 15 fps, it would come in at less than 12 gig from NEW YORK to LA.

    Watch this space!
     
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  20. RaptorMan

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    You're 100% clueless!

    Beyond the bandwidth issue what would be the point of streaming video from every single AC and drone? The transponder sending a much lower bandwidth signal that provides lat/lon/alt and does so frequently enough would permit more AC in an area to use that bandwidth and broadcast it over a longer distance using less power.

    It takes more power to send a high bandwidth signal than it does a low bandwidth one and this is the reason signals from deep space probes are very low bandwidth -- the power required to send a high bandwidth signal is vastly greater and not practical for most probes.

    I'll say again -- you're clueless!


    Brian