Sagetech Transponder Enables ADS-B for NASA DAA

WHITE SALMON, Wash., April 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Sagetech Corporation once again paves the way for transponder and ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast) equipage on small to medium UAVs (Unmanned Air Vehicles) by providing its MXS transponder to NASA for DAA (Detect-and-Avoid) research.

The NASA Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration in the National Airspace System Project and its government and industry partners have been conducting research to reduce technical barriers to routine operation of unmanned aircraft in the national airspace system. Flight tests conducted with NASA’s Ikhana UAS beginning in 2014 are being used to develop and validate minimum operational performance standards for large (group 5) UAVs to detect and avoid other aircraft. An upcoming project phase will see NASA extending its DAA research to smaller UAVs, conducting flight tests with its medium-class (group 3) SIERRA-B (Sensor Integrated Environmental Remote Research Aircraft).

ADS-B transmits GPS position data to other aircraft nearby for use by operators and aircraft control algorithms to maintain safe separation distances. Sagetech’s transponder with integral ADS-B enables NASA’s system to electronically “see” nearby aircraft and maneuver to avoid them. Similarly, it enables the SIERRA-B to “be seen” by those same aircraft.

“Sagetech is pleased NASA chose its transponders for its research into safe, routine operation of UAVs together with manned aircraft, but I’m not surprised,” says Kelvin Scribner, Sagetech’s CEO. “For over 10 years Sagetech’s miniature surveillance equipment has enabled efficient military operations with small UAVs that would have been impossible otherwise.”

UAV operations are projected to increase sharply in civil airspace, especially once rules for accessing that airspace are in place. The SIERRA-B technology demonstration signifies NASA’s commitment to push the boundaries of what’s possible on UAVs, even small ones, and lays the groundwork for future FAA rule-making.

Small UAVs are difficult to see, which makes visual detection unreliable. Primary radars struggle to detect reflected energy from the small radar cross-section of these tiny airplanes. Transponder equipage overcomes these obstacles by enabling UAVs to “squawk” replies to secondary radar interrogations. ADS-B equipage goes a step further by periodically “squittering” position and other aircraft data automatically. Air traffic controllers depend on transponders and ADS-B to maintain safe separation between these aircraft. With Sagetech transponders, UAVs as small as 20 pounds can share airspace safely and routinely with other manned and unmanned aircraft.

About Sagetech Corporation

Sagetech Corporation, founded in 1998, provides miniature avionics suited for use in UAVs as small as 10 lbs. Sagetech aviation transponders have long been used to facilitate military operations worldwide, logging over 1 million combat flight hours. Its MX family of certified transponders will facilitate UAV operations in both domestic and foreign national airspace. Sagetech will be exhibiting at AUVSI’s Xponential 2018 (Denver, CO) in Booth #1620 from 1-3 May 2018.

Media Contacts:

Sagetech Corporation: Patrick Maley, +1 (509) 570-1816,

SOURCE Sagetech Corporation

Sagetech Transponder Enables PAE ISR Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations in Civil Airspace

WHITE SALMON, Wash.Dec. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Sagetech Corporation once again proved small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) can safely fly in controlled airspace using the same technology that has helped maintain flight safety for decades.

A PAE ISR Resolute Eagle UAS, equipped with a Sagetech XPC-TR-50 Mode C transponder, successfully completed a mission in civil airspace on November 8, 2017. The flight took place at the Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range located at Pendleton Airport in Oregon while operating under an FAA Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA).

Resolute Eagle is a fixed wing tactical UAS that offers advanced performance for use in civil or military airspace. Without a transponder, the aircraft’s small size makes it virtually invisible to Air Traffic Control (ATC). Sagetech’s military-certified XP transponder eliminates this issue, allowing the Resolute Eagle unmanned airplane to operate safely while sharing airspace with manned aircraft.

“Sagetech is delighted that PAE ISR selected our transponder to demonstrate commercial capability of the Resolute Eagle UAS in civil airspace,” says Kelvin Scribner, Sagetech’s chief executive officer. “Sagetech’s technology has been a key enabler of small UAS military operations for over 15 years and PAE ISR’s flight from the Pendleton, OR airport marks another step as our products transition from military to civil use.”

UAS operations are projected to increase sharply in civil airspace in the coming decade. This event signifies PAE ISR’s ability to offer a dynamic platform to a broader customer set; successfully fulfilling U.S. commercial and civilian requirements in addition to U.S. military missions.

Aviation transponders are a key part of the system air traffic controllers use to maintain safe separation between aircraft.  Moreover, small UAS are not detectable passively by ATC radars because of their small size.  Sagetech’s transponders allow even these naturally stealthy aircraft to integrate seamlessly with existing ATC radar systems.


PAE ISR LLC is a joint venture of PAE, American Operations Corporation (AOC), and Battlespace Flight Services, LLC (BFS) providing intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance solutions and services to U.S. government agencies, NATO, and other international organizations.  As a lead systems integrator and full-service provider for unmanned aerial systems, PAE ISR has significant experience in system integration, test and evaluation, operations and maintenance, logistics, training, deployment support, and leased UAS services.

About Sagetech Corporation

Sagetech Corporation, founded in 1998, provides miniature, certified avionics suited for use in drones as small as 10 lbs gross weight. Sagetech aviation transponders have long been used to facilitate military operations worldwide, logging over 1 million combat flight hours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sagetech’s products are trusted as standard equipment in most small military UAS worldwide.

Media Contact:

For Sagetech Corporation:

Patrick Maley, +1 (509) 570-1816,

For additional information, please visit our website at


Polli Ogilvie, +1 (703) 717-6175,

Beth Beach, +1 (703) 677-6093,

For additional information, please visit our website at


SOURCE Sagetech Corporation

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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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