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What would a cheap ADS-B base cost?

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What would a cheap ADS-B base cost?

Old 16th Jul 2018, 00:38
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What would a cheap ADS-B base cost?

To put in ADS-B coverage to ground level at places like Ballina or Wagga must be at a very low cost compared to the $1 billion Airservices budget. Surely there must be low cost ADS-B transceivers that can be installed at airports.

Of course, we have ADS-B at places like Birdsville to give the high level coverage above 30,000 feet Ė and these are expensive because I understand they require dual satellite communication links. However at places like Ballina or Wagga, couldnít the ADS-B connection be done via the normal Airservices ground based links? Surely they exist in these areas for communications?

Can anyone give me a budgetary price of a low cost ADS-B unit that could be used at a place like this?

Of course, it doesnít have to be 110% reliable, because if the ADS-B fails, (just as a communication link fails) pilots are trained on what to do.

There has been a lot of talk about the multi-lateration system in Tasmania, however there is not much talk about why there simply canít be an ADS-B transceiver at Launceston, and one at Hobart airport, that would give coverage to ground level.

Is there anyone who reads PPRuNe who has communication with the suppliers of ADS-B ground stations? I feel sure by now there must be units available Ė possibly $10,000 each. How could they be that much more expensive? They are so bloody simple. The position accuracy comes from the certified GPS in the aircraft, so all the ground station is doing it interrogating and retransmitting a message.

It canít be rocket science and canít require huge cost.

I look forward to any useful advice.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 05:14
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
To put in ADS-B coverage to ground level at places like Ballina or Wagga must be at a very low cost compared to the $1 billion Airservices budget. Surely there must be low cost ADS-B transceivers that can be installed at airports.

Of course, we have ADS-B at places like Birdsville to give the high level coverage above 30,000 feet – and these are expensive because I understand they require dual satellite communication links. However at places like Ballina or Wagga, couldn’t the ADS-B connection be done via the normal Airservices ground based links? Surely they exist in these areas for communications?

Can anyone give me a budgetary price of a low cost ADS-B unit that could be used at a place like this?

Of course, it doesn’t have to be 110% reliable, because if the ADS-B fails, (just as a communication link fails) pilots are trained on what to do.

There has been a lot of talk about the multi-lateration system in Tasmania, however there is not much talk about why there simply can’t be an ADS-B transceiver at Launceston, and one at Hobart airport, that would give coverage to ground level.

Is there anyone who reads PPRuNe who has communication with the suppliers of ADS-B ground stations? I feel sure by now there must be units available – possibly $10,000 each. How could they be that much more expensive? They are so bloody simple. The position accuracy comes from the certified GPS in the aircraft, so all the ground station is doing it interrogating and retransmitting a message.

It can’t be rocket science and can’t require huge cost.

I look forward to any useful advice.
I can't help you with the cost of a commercial solution but...

One of these...and one of these... will give you the ability to receive ADS-b signals. There will also be a few bits and pieces like a memory card and a power supply, if you shop carefully you can get all the parts for about $100. See the details here: http://stratux.me/

They are actually quite fun to play with...
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 08:10
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What does a real one cost that CASA would allow AsA to use?
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 08:27
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
What does a real one cost that CASA would allow AsA to use?
Not sure I understand your question. Are we talking about a receive only capability on the ground connected into the internet? If so "No-One" is quite right, a RPI with a low-cost USB receiver will quite happily perform that function. If that is not what you are asking about then what additional function are you after?
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 09:07
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Silicon Chip magazine had a nice couple of articles about 5 years ago describing how to make a receiver and its antenna:

Track Aircraft On Your Own ADS-B Receiving Station - August 2013 - Silicon Chip Online
Collinear Antennas For Aircraft ADS-B Signals - September 2013 - Silicon Chip Online

If AsA wants to pay $10k for each one of these then I'll happily make them for them.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 09:26
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Folks,
The answer is we don't know, becasue of the costs of complying with the certification standards of anything that is going to feed into the AsA computers.
Having a stand alone receiver and display that could be placed in a tower cab is a bit too innovative and agile for the "system".
Tootle pip!!
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 09:36
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Originally Posted by LeadSled View Post
Folks,
The answer is we don't know, becasue of the costs of complying with the certification standards of anything that is going to feed into the AsA computers.
Having a stand alone receiver and display that could be placed in a tower cab is a bit too innovative and agile for the "system".
Tootle pip!!
I thought about that. However, the original question seems to be what is required for a minimal system (not even failure proofed). So we can see that for a few hundred dollars, you could have a system that works. An experienced technician could probably assemble such a system in an hour. But lets be generous and say it took a day, 7 hours @ $100/hr, so lets say it could be assembled boxed and shipped for that. Then we are looking at $1k.
Anything that CASA or AsA demands beyond that is a compliance cost and needs to be justified.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 09:43
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You'd be as happy plugging in some randomly purchased uncertified piece of kit into your RPT jet carrying 200 fare paying pax?
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 09:51
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Originally Posted by le Pingouin View Post
You'd be as happy plugging in some randomly purchased uncertified piece of kit into your RPT jet carrying 200 fare paying pax?
Ok, add a once off cost for certification. 1 techo and one CASA inspector standing around watching it for 1 week making sure it doesn't do anything strange.
Techo: 50hours/wk @$100/hr is $5k
Field Inspector with checklist: 30hrs/wk @$500/hr is $15K.
Total certification cost is $20K
Amortize over 1000 certified units = $20/unit
Certified units cost $1020, discount rate $1000/unit.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 09:52
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Originally Posted by le Pingouin View Post
You'd be as happy plugging in some randomly purchased uncertified piece of kit into your RPT jet carrying 200 fare paying pax?
LePing,
Of course not, which is why a transponder is one of the few bits of avionics that must meet relevant TSO standards for operation under CFR 91 FAA operations in US.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 09:54
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That'd would really be testing it Not!
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 10:06
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Originally Posted by le Pingouin View Post
That'd would really be testing it Not!
I think that is Dick's point though. How much testing do we really need? The aircraft technology is where the important certification has already taken place. All the ADS-B receiver is doing is detecting the aircraft transmission and then relaying it through a communication line. The receiver either picks up a signal or not, and if the micro-computer fails it fails so badly that nothing sensible come out of it-- the system either works or completely fails. In the initial certification you may want to check that it works properly so you may get ATC to query pilots for position reports, or perhaps test it in a radar environment and cross check it with the ADS-B output. You may even continue to operate it that way over a period of a year until you have confidence in the system before ceasing requirements for verbal position reports or turning off the radar. How much more testing is needed? Just stating a vague 'safety' concern like that is what causes costs to escalate exponentially.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 10:28
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Ummm, so you'd be happy with a system that hasn't been thoroughly tested and properly certified to display correctly - the controller might just vector you into Mt Barrow, no big deal. Same for reliability.

Just stating a vague "she'll be right after 100 hours of random testing" really demonstrates safe operation. Not!
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 12:41
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Originally Posted by le Pingouin View Post
Ummm, so you'd be happy with a system that hasn't been thoroughly tested and properly certified to display correctly - the controller might just vector you into Mt Barrow, no big deal. Same for reliability.

Just stating a vague "she'll be right after 100 hours of random testing" really demonstrates safe operation. Not!
Umm, I think you're off the track. Just re-read what I wrote and tell me where I said it shouldn't be thoroughly tested. You have to remember that the system we are talking about is simply a relay. It is taking the output of a certified GPS system in an aeroplane and relaying that output to ATC. From a functional perspective, it is as if the pilot was reading his GPS coordinates over a radio to someone on the ground, and the person on the ground then telephoning those coordinates to someone in at ATC centre. Perhaps you could tell me how much verification and validation is required to certify such a system?
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 14:35
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And you have to remember that it's being used as part of a system that is safety critical. It has to prove it will play nicely with whatever system it's feeding, is reliable enough, can be fault monitored.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 15:26
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Originally Posted by le Pingouin View Post
And you have to remember that it's being used as part of a system that is safety critical. It has to prove it will play nicely with whatever system it's feeding, is reliable enough, can be fault monitored.
That's interesting and I agree it is part of a safety critical system, but you did not answer the question.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 15:29
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Here's an idea... ADSB is required mostly in rural areas. The cost for an ADSB-in receiver in conjunction with a satellite dish install is bugger all.

On a few country properties, tell each cocky we're going to install another bit of gear with your dish, and we'll pay you $50 a year to cover the minimal additional electricity bill and the minimal amount of data generated. 1000 sites, $50K a year "royalties to farms" plus equipment replacement.

Bam - nation-wide ADSB coverage at lower levels.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 15:43
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There are locations with ADSB ground stations (Dubbo is one that I know of) but they are not being used. There isn't redundant satellite uplinks so the data from the ADSB site isn't being used.

So at lower levels procedural separation is used all the time, not just in the case when the single satellite uplink has failed.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 23:21
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Bevan, now that is an interesting tidbit of information. Someone posted a while ago how his observation of ADS-B coverage dropped off considerably in that part of the country. Methinks he was around Orange where he noticed he was getting "services terminated"
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Old 18th Jul 2018, 00:30
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Perhaps you could tell me how much verification and validation is required to certify such a system?
Research ICAO SARPs for ATS surveillance systems and ADS-B system integrity and monitoring for a start.

I don't think a rinky dinky $100 receiver quite cuts it.
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