Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
User avatar
By gaznav
More ADS-B and Drone EC stuff I’m afraid - exciting stuff! ... -airports/

It seems that there is now a UAT for ADS-B at Manchester Airport. It is being used for Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) with the benefits of NATS traffic rebroadcast on TIS-B plus also the weather that other UATs output.


Lots of info in the links. More evidence that ADS-B is happening in the UK and there are some very big partners behind it...(see the Zenith link). This means that drones can be safely integrated with us all and also deliver their benefits (national infrastructure monitoring, threshold inspections, dynamic airpsace management for emergencies, etc...).

It should also prevent this: ... rosecution
Dave W, Iceman liked this
By Mike Tango
Over ten years ago, as the radar replacement program was in its early stages and NATS’ interest in the infringements safety risk was significantly increasing, the question was asked of the appropriate Director if TIS-B could be implemented in the new radar system as a carrot for GA to fit Mode S transponders.

The answer was no, iirc because the necessary hardware hadn’t beeen specified/purchased/was available or some such.

Something’s changed if TIS-B really is being implemented system wide now.
I was told as Swanwick a few weeks ago that TIS B from NATS wouldn't be available for the foreseeable future if ever.

Because NATS couldn't charge for it and didn't want to pay for it unless the cost could be refunded from 3rd parties.

I asked what they would do if it was forced on them by the CAA/DFT as an encouragement to mode S equiping as mentioned above.

Their answer was they would only agree to it, if the DFT funded it or they could charge for it.

User avatar
By gaznav
I guess ‘never say never’. The ZENITH programme is all about feeding information between manned and unmanned aircraft to try and demonstrate the safe use and seperation inside controlled and uncontrolled airspace. It uses 1090 ADS-B and 978 TIS-B to achieve this as far as I can see. However, the technology is very similar to that used in the USA - which works a treat.

As for who pays? Well if all the drone operators and aircraft operators and Air Traffic Service providers come together to pay then we may be looking at very small amounts to pay indeed. This technology is pretty damn cheap compared to SSRs and SSR RADAR heads.
By Mike Tango
From what I was told in the early days of NATS' most recent radar replacement programme, whatever was necessary to enable TIS-B wasn't specified nor installed.

That programme is complete and no idea what would be required to now retrofit to the system, whether it's just software or would need hardware. ... -complete/
By Steve J
Mike Tango wrote:Something’s changed if TIS-B really is being implemented system wide now.

The DfT think that there is a lot of economic growth and taxes in commercial unmanned aircraft.

From the NERL RP3 business plan.

We understand that the CAA is likely to mandate electronic conspicuity as part of an airspace integration programme that will affect most of UK airspace. In line with this, they have requested that we make proposals for the delivery of electronic conspicuity outside of controlled airspace. Low power, ground based ADS-B is a potential way of delivering this, and we aim to incorporate this into our surveillance infrastructure in RP3.

Our wider plan includes a proposal for an enhanced information service that would support both manned and unmanned users outside of controlled airspace.

By Mike Tango
If that turns out to be TIS-B it’s a shame the light wasn’t seen ten plus years ago. Wasn’t for the want of trying by some of us.
Flyin'Dutch' liked this
User avatar
By CloudHound
A brief search of the CAA website returns no result for Operation Zenith.

One wonders what their Electronic Conspicuity Working Group’s involvement is at present?
User avatar
By neilmurg
It all sounds great. And I hope there's an ADS-B (maybe TIS-B? but that's so WAAAY out there vapourware / lies (hopes/wishes) right now)
I honestly hope uAvionics can deliver. It would be great to have an alternative that detects Mode C/S, FLARM and ADS-B, like what I've had for a couple of years. I'm not SIL=1 tho', luckily no A320's care, or came close. Meanwhile, I've had better SA and EC for 2 years, £250.

So what's a pilot that wants EC now to do? (trick question, you've already bought a PAw)
By GAFlyer4Fun
gaznav wrote:...As for who pays? Well if all the drone operators and aircraft operators and Air Traffic Service providers come together to pay then we may be looking at very small amounts to pay indeed. ....

Economies of scale did not seem to work when a whole continent had to equip with 8.33kHz radios so I don't see it for this either.
By Mike Tango
I wouldn’t expect the main air traffic service provider to be in the businesses of subsidies unless it was built into the RP3 charging structure.

The airline customers and regulator ensure there is barely enough charged to run the business, never mind give out free money.
User avatar
By 2Donkeys
I think that some of the pessimism on this thread relates to a confusion between TIS and TIS-B. TIS is an analogous traffic rebroadcasting service that provides traffic information via Mode S radar heads and Mode S Transponders. This was widely used in the US 10-15 years ago but not paid for in the UK nor installed on radar heads as @Mike Tango recalls. TIS is now being dismantled in favour of TIS-B, which is already working brilliantly in and around most US terminal areas.

TIS-B refers to the rebroadcasting of traffic data via ADS-B ground stations (both 1090 and 978). If in the UK, such an infrastructure is contemplated beyond the current trial, then to provide rebroadcast traffic data in addition to weather makes a lot of sense and has a much more manageable marginal cost, so long as the providers of such radar data to the rebroadcasters are not too greedy.

EDITED to correct Frequency typo
Last edited by 2Donkeys on Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
kanga, Dave Phillips, Bobcro and 2 others liked this
User avatar
By CloudHound
So. A word favoured by many NATS people to start a sentence. And there are quite a few ex-NATS involved with Operation Zenith.

So, I've had chance to research what is going to happen at Manchester Airport on Wednesday 21st Nov, who are the main players and the objectives they've set themselves.

First thing I note is one objective during the various scenarios is "commercial operations are conducted as normal at the airport". This is key and I think any excitement about our type of GA flying gaining access to a UK-wide FAA TIS-B service may be somewhat premature.

Two of main players are Altitude Angel and Consortiq and even a cursory glance at their websites reveal impressive teams with solid experience in "Drones" (how I hate that word). That's where the vision lies for this project and MAG Group, NATS and the other partners will reap safety rewards through their involvement.

So, I wish them all well for a successful technology demonstration and look forward to seeing systems developed for UTM becoming available to GA.
Mike Tango, Bobcro, Nick liked this