Sat May 01, 2021 9:58 am #1844192
johnm wrote:A number of things come out of this and all of them highlight the value of the work done by Pilot Aware.
The EC Structure is a total dogs breakfast Mode S ADSB TCAS TAS FLARM PAW not to mention the SDA and SIL variations on a theme.
Pilot Aware have had a really good go at trying create a framework that makes this lot a bit more coherent and have developed some useful tools to assess how good the resulting picture might be.
The result may be imperfect but that is unsurprising and largely inconsequential as long as the limitations are reasonably well understood and they seem positively keen to address limitations when they are highlighted.
I may not be a customer (yet) but I’m impressed by their work and unimpressed by carping criticism.
I agree - as a receiver, then PAW Rosetta and PAW Classic are excellent affordable bits of kit. But then again, the Stratux is cheaper still and has uses a very similar box to the Rosetta. There is also SofTRF, which also receives a multitude of the diverse transmission formats that you mention.
But as a transmitter it absolutely sucks. It has introduced yet another protocol, as you have identified above, to an already significantly diverse set of transmission protocols. Now the P3i (or “Pilot’s 3rd Eye”) protocol is kind of fine if your aircraft is emitting other things like ADS-B, but if you don’t then only PAW equipped aircraft are likely to detect you. It would also appears that PAW are planning to expand the use of P3i by something called “Rosetta DX”, which is about 30-40g in weight and is designed for small drones and paragliders. These are unlikely to be transmitting anything else, due to weight and size constraints, they only have room for one device. So yet again, we see more devices from PAW that further dilute and diversify the air user onto another protocol and frequency that few others outside of the UK use, and even in the UK does not make up the majority of EC reception capability.
The whole idea of CAP1391 was to provide a common-standard ADS-B format that minor manufacturers could manufacture devices far easier and cheaper than normal fully certified ADS-B devices. There are so far 8x Declaration of Capability and Conformance (DoCCs) from 2 manufacturers for individual CAP1391 products - all are from f.u.n.k.e. and uAvionix so far. Wouldn’t it be good if FLARM, PAW and others made similar products that all of us can detect, rather than persisting with their own proprietary transmission formats? But then again, by being proprietary that “bonds in” certain users if their community uses that format, which I am sure is part of their individual business models. So we end up with a conflict of interest between the various manufacturers - which is why I believe the Regulator needs to make that decision, rather than the “Wild West” chaos of choice that we currently have.
To be frank, if that Regulator decided that the common standard was FLARM or P3i, then I really don’t care. But it would seem that the Regulator has already made its choice with ADS-B for now, but it is being really weak about enforcing that message that they pushed out in an AIC:
In August 2017 the Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that ADS-B using 1090 MHz is its preferred national system to improve electronic conspicuity for general aviation. Ideally this will be achieved through transponders, although other devices can be integrated and interoperable with the CAA’s final strategic solution. Two years on, some significant developments and ongoing trials mean that it is timely to provide an update on the options currently available for enabling ADS-B out throughout the General Aviation fleet, via this AIC.
So really, I look towards the CAA to get this sorted out one way or another... just hoping it will all be OK is not really an option!