uAvionix recently unveiled a new ADS-B transponder to its product offerings, tailBeaconX. The transponder is marketed for the general aviation community, it replaces the rear position-light and incorporates a 1090MHz Mode S ADS-B Out signal. This design offers an easy solution for aircraft owners trying to adhere to current and future ADS-B mandates.

tailBeaconX, the first ADS-B transponder with aerial mobility in mind.

tailBeaconX, the first ADS-B transponder with aerial mobility in mind.

According to the uAvionix’s website, tailBeaconX is the first commercially available avionics solution developed with the needs of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in mind. Electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, powered by batteries and alternative fuels, require radically different solutions than those that exist today. tailBeaconX weighs only 90 grams, takes no critical volume from an internal avionics bay, incorporates its own antennas, and draws only 3 watts of power. This results in longer flight times and higher payload capacity for the next generation of airborne mobility.

The company said in a news release that tailBeaconX is the first transponder to be specifically evaluated by Aireon and Nav Canada, and that early tests show promise toward meeting performance requirements for ATC-quality surveillance data for general aviation aircraft. “A solution like tailBeaconX will expand the proven safety and operational benefits of ADS-B through a space-based service to the general aviation community,” said Cyriel Kronenburg, vice president of aviation services for Aireon. “We’re pleased to collaborate on these types of innovative avionics solutions with uAvionix as various global ADS-B mandates take effect in the coming months and years.” Aireon’s space-based ADS-B ATC system went live last spring.

Why it matters: tailBeaconX is the first commercially available ADS-transponder developed with the unique needs of the aerial mobility industry in mind. eVTOL aircraft are vastly different from their general aviation counterparts and require efficient applications with minimal physical footprints and power consumption. uAvionix is also developing a full suite of aerial mobility focused avionics including: command and control links, GPS receivers, obstacle detection and avoidance, among others.

Posted by Ross Piscoran

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