Probably first 3DR Quad received ICAO 24-bit address

ICAO address is used as unique airframe identifier for so called Mode-S transponders -


It is likely at least in Europe that beyond line of sight UAV operations in future will require equipping UAVs with such transponder.


So we decided to start working on ADS-B OUT transponders integration with popular autopilots and adding these features to our ground control software UgCS (


As first carrier we have selected 3DR Quad with Pixhawk.


Why Pixhawk? -  This line of autopilots have matured and we expect lot of  commercial applications will be using it. We will be ready for that with our solution for Pixhawk- ADS-B transponder integration.


We selected 3D Robotics Quad because we have lot of them and they are symbolic for getting quads and UAV technology to the masses. :-)


We will use Sagetech XPS-TR transponder because of its small size and weight, which allows equipping even lightest UAVs with it. 


4 months ago we approached Latvian Civil Aviation Agency with request to provide us ICAO 24-bit address for our quad, and now it has happened! 


Latvian Civil Aviation Agency (FAA analogue for us) has issued ICAO address 502С08 for our little bird - 3DR Quad with "tail number" 6 (see picture).


In a month or two it should appear on




UgCS Team

Views: 2587

Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 12, 2014 at 9:29am

That's the way of the future well done

Comment by hotelzululima on November 12, 2014 at 11:14am

really cool!!..

now would like to see this done as SDR software preferably in GNU Radio Companion on the HackRF or similar so we can study the solution in detail for smaller solutions size/weight etc..


Comment by Greg Dronsky on November 12, 2014 at 11:16am

Well said Gary! :)

Comment by Janis Kuze on November 12, 2014 at 11:28am

Yup thats the easy way for government to ID who and where is flying and whether it goes according approved route. Next step to get routes confirmed at CAA electronically and checked against all temporary airspace restrictions (NOTAMs, etc)

Would save significant amount of trees as well :)

Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 12, 2014 at 11:35am

There are things in the pipeline I believe but we will let Chris A speak to that

Comment by F. C. Bearsch on November 12, 2014 at 11:37am

I love the forward thought of this project!

Comment by Dan Murray on November 12, 2014 at 11:53am

That's incredible. Wish it was possible here in the US - although maybe it is, I remember hearing talk of it before. If so, as usual, the players aren't sharing.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 12, 2014 at 11:59am

Don't forget you can already track ADSB traffic in Mission Planner and I hope many of us are already playing with SDR dongles and sharing low level traffic to sites like FlightRadar24 This is a great guide for $20 there is just too much fun, I decode NOAA POEs satellites, track ships listen to all sorts of data modes. All with free software, its nuts. If ADSB becomes part of the mix which I am sure it will then its well worth $20 for training.

Comment by Matthew on November 13, 2014 at 7:06am

None too soon -

This sort of thing needs to be integrated into the drone industry, so some knuckle head trying to see how high he can go doesn't get sucked into a jet engine.

Whiny doomsaying aside, I'm all for being able to detect other planes and be detected.

Comment by Jake Stew on November 13, 2014 at 8:10pm

> We will use Sagetech XPS-TR transponder

What will your range be when you're dumping 8-14W into the transponder?

Why not just do it from the ground?  It would be pretty easy to implement ADSB in/out from the ground.  Just use a SDR for the "in", and feed data to for the "out".


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