uAvionix announced on Monday that it has launched a program for aircraft owners looking to upgrade current uAvionix equipment to one of its new tailBeaconX space-based Mode S 1090 MHz extended squitter ADS-B transponders. The program offers a trade-in credit of up to $1,200 toward a tailBeaconX in exchange for uAvionix skyBeacon, tailBeacon or echoUAT units. According to the company, tailBeaconX meets performance requirements in Canada and Mexico and will “provide access to all countries where 1090 MHz ADS-B transponders are accepted.”
“One of the most significant benefits of tailBeaconX is the improved response time for locating an aircraft in distress due to its global coverage from Space-based ADS-B data,” uAvionix said. “This satellite-derived data is increasingly the leading source of location information for Search & Rescue authorities (SAR) at lower altitudes, mountainous terrain, and large bodies of water and has already saved numerous lives.”
The uAvionix tailBeaconX is designed to replace a rear navigation light. It combines a transponder, ADS-B Out, satellite-based augmentation systems (SBAS) GPS and rear LED position light. uAvionix says that the typical installation cost of a tailBeaconX is estimated at 30 to 40 percent of the cost of a diversity transponder. The price for the tailBeaconX unit is $2499.
I don’t understand why the satellites need antenna diversity (a top antenna on the airplane). The satellites orbit, and are only directly overhead for an instant. Most of the time, the satellite has a side view of every airplane below.