India approves uAvionix system for UAS in controlled airspace

By Patrick C. Miller | April 05, 2019

Detect-and-avoid technology for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) developed by Montana-based uAvionx has been accepted for use by India’s Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

In India, UAS regulations require that drones weighing more than 4.4 pounds operating in controlled airspace up to 400 feet be equipped with systems making them visible to air traffic control. uAvionix says its ping20S— which it calls the world’s smallest and lightest ADS-B transponder—is being used in drones approved for operations in India.  

According to uAvionix, Quantum Systems GmbH in Germany was recently awarded a $3 million contract from Survey of India to provide its Trinity+ UAS. The Trinity+ is equipped with a uAvionix ping20S low-power Mode S ES ADS-B transponder and pingRX ADS-B receiver for air traffic control interoperability and detect-and-avoid functionality. This enables the Trinity+ to respond to interrogations from air traffic control secondary surveillance radars and nearby aircraft equipped with traffic collision avoidance systems (TCAS).

uAvionix said some of its other customers in India have had success incorporating the company’s ping200SR ADS-B transponders and ping1090i ADS-B transceivers with integral GPS. Christian Ramsey, uAvionix president, said India’s evolving UAS market and economic growth will soon make it a top-five country in terms of GDP.

“In such an environment, leap-frogging technologies such as unmanned systems can fuel further growth,” he said. “To its credit, the DGCA is playing its part by establishing performance standards and rule-making under which drones can be developed and safely flown.”