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  • I have a (lapsed) private licence, and last time I looked, we were absolutely not supposed to go below 500 feet except when landing or departing or practicing emergencies. It's therefore obvious that one wants to keep one's quadcopter at or below 450 feet, 150 metres at all times.

    I also encase all my homebrew copters in two halfs of clear salad bowl/packaging sprayed with dayglo paint on the inside and held together with rubber antivibration fan mounts, because most PPL's are old duffers peering through 1/4 inch of scratched perspex with 60 year old eyballs, in between efforts to understand the new garmin doohickey.

    As a quad operator I like to give 'em every chance to see it, even though they should be no where near me or my copter. I use APM because it "tends to descend" rather than fly away into the airways... Finally, I carry a chart and make sure I am not in controlled airspace or on a runway centreline. I'd consider a strobe neccesary if I were operating in foul weather or at altitude greater than my personal limit of 400' AGL. If I want to get a higher perspective, that can be done cautiously by flying near a large feature either natural or man made, as full size  aircraft will be giving it a wide berth. Aviation charts are very good fro spotting such features in an area where you might want to fly high for photographic reasons.

    Now, there has been a lot of talk about how we quad flyers need to be regulated, but In my view there also needs to be an element of gently reminding the full sized aviators that we and the birds own the airspace below 400 feet. I'm thinking of printing up a postcard to pin on the local flying club notice boards with a picture of a quadcopter and some text that means: "These are allowed to be flown legally up to 50 feet below your MSA" just to raise awareness, that we aren't all idiots and remind them why they need to respect the statutory minimums.

  • I guess no one told him that the FAA has no plans to support a public algorithm for ADS-B detect and avoid. Should have been at the sUSB Expo.

  • Moderator

    The standard UAT is only available in USA not in europe so the Ping2020 transcrivers is good only for USA Market. 

    In Europe is ok for 1090 only as receiver.

  • I am wondering what the intent is for the use of ADS-B on an unmanned aircraft system.

    The ability to send/receive an ADS signal is not the final goal of the broadcast services program (SBS).

  • @John.

    Ahh yeah, OK. Brings up a point though. Of course it's useful that we know where other flying objects are but I think it's probably more important that they know where we are.

    We're harder to see, and while we really shouldn't be in their air space..... well it's not always the case.

    It would give us a safety zone as well. If it were mandatory to run with one of these, the ones that comply could at least be cut some slack.

    And as a private or commercial pilot, I'd feel a lot more comfortable knowing where these drones (or other hard to see) are.

    Question. Are the messages coded as to category/type of vehicle? 

  • Moderator


    I don't doubt the numbers, but "the headlines" is not my first pick for a reliable risk assessment. 

  • Developer

    The one in the picture (pingRX) is a receiver only.

  • @Chris J. WOW 16W?

    Looks like a serial interface, so at least that could allow getting it away from most of the sensitive stuff, but still, 80cm would be close at that power. And then theres power supply management... and those serial cables look pretty skinny...

  • @Rob: "Crop dusters, kit planes, ultralights, and other cowboy private pilots flying very low with no transponder and no radio" not very much in the headlines...... If you add them all its maybe 1% compared to drones... 

  • 16W at 978Mhz, wonder what effect that much noise does to the rest of the data RF onboard.

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