13-Jun-2018 Source: Dallas Avionics
Avionics manufacturer uAvionix believes it will have FAA technical standard order (TSO) approval for its innovative skyBeacon wingtip position light and integrated Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out transmitter before EAA AirVenture, or someone will walk the plank-figuratively, anyway. “We will either bring skyBeacon to sell and install on your aircraft, or a dunk tank for our certification lead,” said Paul Beard, the company’s CEO.
ADS-B uses satellites instead of ground-based radar to determine aircraft position, and is a key technology behind the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System. The FAA has mandated ADS-B Out for flight after Jan. 1, 2020, in airspace where a Mode C transponder is required today. uAvionx said the skyBeacon, which incorporates a WAAS GPS position source as well as LED position and anticollision strobe lights, when paired with an existing Mode C transponder will meet the requirements of the FAA mandate.
In an update emailed May 17 to customers, uAvionix said it will submit its TSO application to the FAA before the end of this month, “meaning that all development, testing, and verification work is complete and we are requesting approval to manufacture and sell the device,” said Ryan Reed, communications director for the company. “Because of the level of involvement the FAA has had in the project, we anticipate a quick approval.”
“We are on the final stretch having achieved numerous major milestones in the skyBeacon certification process,” the email said. “Specifically, skyBeacon has seen rigorous environmental and performance testing, exceeding required standards and ensuring compatibility with a wide variety of aircraft. We’ve worked with the FAA to gain a groundbreaking approval for integrating the modern microelectronics necessary to make skyBeacon a reality. Despite these successes, we haven’t yet crossed the finish line. Over the last several months we’ve quadrupled our team, devoting significant resources to quickly complete the skyBeacon TSO. We are humbled by the response and continued support of our customers who have partnered with us to help shape a unique vision of aviation.”
A non-TSOed version of the skyBeacon is available today for experimental and light sport aircraft.