July 18, 2019

uAvionix Developing skyBeacon X for Canadian Market


The U.S.-based company uAvionix announced this week that they are developing a variant of their 978 MHz skyBeacon wingtip-mounted ADS-B OUT for the Canadian market, using the 1090ES technology and antenna diversity that Nav Canada will require.

The skyBeacon X, as the product is being called, will essentially be a 1090 MHz ADS-B OUT transponder also equipped with LED position and anti-collision lights, a GPS source and a barometric altimeter.

“Clearly there is a technical challenge here that uAvionix is well equipped to solve,” said  uAvionix president Christian Ramsey. “We specifically designed skyBeacon and tailBeacon to target a low cost of installation, and we are doing it again with skyBeacon X. We’ve been approached by Canadian pilots asking if we can help address their needs. uAvionix has all of the right tools and products in our portfolio to give them what they need.”

The skyBeacon replaces a wingtip position light. Certification and product availability is expected to be some time in 2021.

Nav Canada’s timeline for ADS-B performance requirements stipulate January 1, 2021 for Class A airspace, and Class E airspace above FL600. January 1, 2022 adds Class B airspace (FL125 to FL180). The implementation date for airspace below 12,500 feet is not yet set, but Nav Canada says it will not be before 2023. Precise details of the airspace below 12,500 feet where 1090ES ADS-B OUT equipage will be required has yet to be identified but Nav Canada has stated that it will do so after consulting with stakeholders.

“We certainly see the future of ADS-B devices for GA as being easy to install and conforming to all international specs at a decent price, said COPA’s CEO Bernard Gervais. “skyBeacon X aims to check all those boxes, so this is certainly a step in the right direction.”