Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
Thanks very much for brining this to forum attention. Only had time to view the first half of the webinar but found it very telling that the DfT's Head of Drones Regulation & Policy knew nothing about EGNOS or the UK's withdrawal from the Safety of Life service. Very surprised it's not a hotter topic amongst UK Gov's Drone Pathfinder Projects team.
Cub wrote:Recording of the webinar if anyone is interested?

Hi Cub
A very interesting (and long) watch
I think the most interesting thing for me is that you will be rebroadcasting traffic positions for :-

That came as a total shock to me, given the very negative press you have given the PilotAware ATOM/GRID system which has now been doing this for a number of years throughout the UK and Europe.
You are clearly entitled to rethink your position, this does raise a number of questions, which we spent a very long time carefully examining, for example :-

What is the source of the FLARM data ?
- is this captured directly ?
- is this obtained via the GliderNet internet sources ?

What is the latency of the FLARM Data, end-to-end ?

What is the accuracy and latency of the MLAT data, end-to-end ?
- how will you provide/display the accuracy data to the receiver ?
- how will you disable display of the data when it is deemed to be too inaccurate for proximity to the receiver ?
- how will you measure success failure for accuracy and latency ?

How will you exclude the reception of the data from the general user who is not intending to participate or receive trail data without understanding the context ?

SE are supporting uploaded FLARM data? They'd previously said that that's not acceptable? Does that mean I can stop paying a subscription for FLARM on my SE2? How do you know when you are in receipt of that service? It's not like they have 200+ uploading stations...
If this was rolled out UK wide, it would be 10 times cheaper (and more useful) to roll out the ATOM GRID system? Yes it would. Do the CAA know/care/understand?
Meanwhile, in GA, emit (proper) ADSB, use a receiver that presents the most targets (PAw)

Answer: Transmit it on a frequency that far more can receive as 978/1090 are the common frequencies as agreed by ICAO?

I’m not a fan of rebroadcast personally, and would rather see aircraft-to-aircraft detection. If that is not possible then I would prefer to see a network of professionally maintained ground stations with a certified level of performance. Maybe this is a rebroadcast of the smaller non-ADS-B capable RPAS/UAVs?
Forgive my ignorance as a non-avionic person but (aside from the usual pathetic Amateur/Maplin explosion/second hand car salesman jibes) this appears to replicate the PAW Atom Grid system but at much greater cost and several years too late.
But what do I know?
I note that Lee has yet to get any response from his comments above.
I’ve sat through the bits of presentation of interest. It sounds like the aim of this trial is to have TMZs that use either ADS-B Out (including CAP1391 transceivers) or Mode S transponder to gain access. If you don’t have either of those you can’t access the TMZ. The RPAS/UAVs will need to be able to detect those types of EC - either directly or through the ground station network (it appears that the mobile broadband network could be used too). There also appears to be a trial of 978Mhz Traffic Information Surveillance Broadcast (TIS-B) that will rebroadcast MLAT and FLARM information. It appears that FLARM, as it does not meet the requirements of CAP1391, will mean that autonomous access of the TMZ will not be possible.

So this is all about demonstrating a capability to mix various air users safely using 1090Mhz and 978Mhz and not a free-for-all frequency that FLARM or PAW use. I suspect the reason behind that is that there needs to be a quantifiable, enforceable and monitored level of performance. Where the data comes from in the trial, with respect to MLAT, is kind of immaterial for now, but again a level of assurance on its performance for use outside of a trial will be required.

Finally, the bit that is really for the benefit of all was the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) presentation. They have a “drones for good” aspiration where Predator-sized RPAs will be used to provide enhanced Search & Rescue (SAR) capabilities better than we currently have. The helicopter will be vectored onto the survivors by the RPA, that will save time, effort, money, lives and the environment. You need a significant level of safety assurance in the system if these types of aircraft are going to mix with the rest of us. The RAF’s new Protector will also be doing similar - either on surface surveillance missions in support of the Royal Navy, or a Military Assistance to the Civil Authority (MACA) task for the MCA, Civil Emergency Services or Border Force. I am glad this is being taken seriously and that steps are being taken to integrate this new technology into the airspace we all use in a safe, assured and to internationally interoperable standards. :thumright:
Im a wee bit confused...I thought that the idea with TIS-B was radar feed data re-broadcast a-la USA style, yet MLAT & FLARM is mentioned here? So, how is this trial any different to the ATOM Grid system alteady in place and working? Sounds like re-inventing the wheel?
AlanG wrote:I take it then that runs a network of professionally maintained stations with a certified level of performance as they appear to be the supplier of choice to provide the MLAT data????


According to their website, it would appear so for MLAT.

Plane Finder Radar Surveillance Receiver
Designed and manufactured in the UK, the Plane Finder Radar is a precision ADS-B receiver with very high resolution multilateration (MLAT) capability.

Certified ADS-B receiver is designed for long term reliability and includes advanced self-healing and auto-update technologies.

Engineered to provide superb near-range coverage in busy environments, such as airports, without any loss of sensitivity to long-range broadcasts.

Supports ADS-B, Mode-S & Mode-A/C.

Ideally suited for commercial and metropolitan area drone surveillance and can be meshed to provide optimised zonal tracking.

Data from the Plane Finder Radar can be made available for direct access locally or streamed to our data centers for additional processing and augmentation.

High quality UAV, airport or metropolitan area tracking.
skydriller wrote:Im a wee bit confused...I thought that the idea with TIS-B was radar feed data re-broadcast a-la USA style, yet MLAT & FLARM is mentioned here? So, how is this trial any different to the ATOM Grid system alteady in place and working? Sounds like re-inventing the wheel?

1. It is broadcasting on 978Mhz Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) standards which is ICAO approved. ATOM grid is not. ... 0SARPs.pdf

2. This UAT is receivable by a variety of in use solutions - CAP1391, ADS-B In receivers and also certified ADS-B In systems. ATOM grid is not.

3. UAT works on a frequency reserved on a frequency for aviation operations. ATOM grid does not.

4. To transmit on UAT frequencies then your equipment is going to need to meet a certifiable performance standard to do so. ATOM grid does not.

These are 4 things that ATOM grid cannot do, that UAT will give. The definition of TIS-B from ICAO is:

TIS-B is a ground-based service to ADS-B- equipped aircraft to provide surveillance data on non-ADS-B-equipped aircraft. TIS-B may also be used in ADS-B implementations involving multiple ADS-B data links to provide a cross-link—or “gateway”—between ADS-B equipped aircraft using different data links. The service is intended to provide ADS-B-equipped aircraft with a more-complete traffic picture in situations where not all aircraft are equipped with ADS-B (or with the same ADS-B data link).

So you can pipe any traffic picture on TIS-B to the ADS-B equipped aircraft to give it “a more complete traffic picture where not all aircraft are equipped with ADS-B”. That data that you pipe on TIS-B needs to meet an assurable standard, which I am sure that everyone in the trial will need to be aware of.