Sagetech to speak at AUVSI’s Xponential 2016

AUVSI’s Xponential 2016 conference and trade show, to be held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans on May 2-5, is the #1 show for the unmanned systems market, drawing 8000+ industry leaders and professionals from more than 55 countries. Over 600 companies representing more than 20 industries will be displaying their wares at the show. Sagetech will exhibit in Booth #641, showcasing its current lineup of miniature transponders and ADS-B systems, as well as introducing its next-generation family of fully certified miniature transponders serving both civil and military sUAS markets.

A key benefit of participation in Xponential 2016 is learning about the future of unmanned systems policy and regulations to ensure the best possible solutions are implemented. The conference has selected 180 subject matter experts and organized 335 educational sessions to accomplish this. Sagetech’s Director of Business Development – James Davis, Ph.D., together with Wendie Kellington, JD – President of the Kellington Law Group PC – were selected by the conference Program Committee to speak during the Technical Session on May 3rd from 11:30 AM to 12:00 noon in Room 271-272. Their topic is “Creative Equipage for Addressing Worldwide UAS Regulatory Constraints” – a topic bringing together regulatory issues and technical challenges.

Attendees of Jim and Wendie’s presentation will learn about the range of innovative but varying UAS regulatory frameworks worldwide, and the difficulty of reconciling these safety-based rules with a market demanding rapid innovation to enable Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) operations using sUAS. An important enabler of BVLOS is onboard Detect And Avoid (DAA), which will comprise a transponder, ADS-B, active surveillance like TCAS, and primary radar. Installation of this avionics suite is a SWaP challenge in sUAS. Techniques already brought to bear to reduce transponder and ADS-B SWaP will be discussed, offering encouragement that miniaturization can be extended to TCAS and radar. If successful, a major barrier to safe sUAS operations in national airspaces will have been overcome.

Providing ATC visibility of a DJI A2 drone using a BeagleBone and Sagetech XPS-TR transponder

The UgCS team has accomplished what we believe is a first – integrating a Mode S/ADS-B out transponder with a small drone, enabling radar visibility throughout the drone’s flight. A BeagleBone Black computer with CAN bus shield was used to integrate a Sagetech XPS-TR, the world’s smallest transponder, with the A2’s flight controller. The flight controller continuously sent the drone’s location and commands through the CAN bus shield to the BeagleBone, which passed that information to the Sagetech transponder. The transponder was powered by the 6S onboard battery, which also powered the drone itself. The BeagleBone was powered by a separate 2S battery, but with a converter the same 6S battery could have been used for all 3 devices.

With an antenna located about 3m below the drone, the mission was a complete success, with the drone appearing and remaining visible on the website throughout the flight.

Video footage of the flight can be found at

UgCS 2.8 will feature a communications interface with the Sagetech ADS-B transponder, enabling configuration of ICAO ID, Flight ID and Squawk Code parameters through the UgCS system.

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