By 2020 nearly all US aircraft must be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) to fly in the National Airspace (NAS). This proposal is to fly a surrogate satellite ADS-B system at high altitude to evaluate overhead reception by future satellite platforms of both Universal Access Transceiver (UAT; 978 MHz) and 1090 Extended Squitter (ES) ADS-B signals from operational aircraft and ADS-B ground stations. The proposed flight opportunity will evaluate the collection of operational ADS-B signals from a relevant near space environment.
Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) is a cooperative surveillance technology designed for tracking and deconfliction of aircraft. Facilitated by Flight Opportunities, Near Space Corporation tested the transmission and reception of modified ADS-B equipment during a balloon mission at an altitude of approximately 95,000 feet. Testing aimed to evaluate the utility of ADS-B technology on satellites in order to fill gaps in the ADS-B coverage network. Experiment results were positive, demonstrating that communications between the balloon-borne ADS-B package and the Federal Aviation Administration’s ground network were strong. These findings show great potential for expanding ADS-B coverage, especially in coastal and mountainous regions.