Garmin Introduces Portable SiriusXM/ADS-B Units

GDL 51 and 52 allow pilots to stream SiriusXM weather and audio into the cockpit.

Garmin Sirius
Garmin's new portable GDL 51 and 52 units allow pilots to stream SiriusXM weather and audio into the cockpit.Garmin

One of many announcements made at Garmin in the past week is that of two portable units that provide a new way to display data in the cockpit through SiriusXM and the ADS-B network. The GDL 52 combines the two networks to provide weather, traffic and audio to a portable tablet or other mobile device, and even some panel mounted avionics. The GDL 51 is connected only to the Sirius XM satellite network. Both the GDL 51 and 52 incorporate GPS position data.

The SiriusXM connection allows the cockpit occupants to not only stream real time satellite weather. They can also listen in on SiriusXM audio channels, either through a Bluetooth headset or through compatible audio panels.

The wireless devices connect to iPad and smartphones through Garmin’s Pilot app as well as Garmin’s portable GPS systems, such as the aera 660, 795, 796. The GDL 51/52 also links to the G3X touchscreen avionics suite. The units can also be hard wired to the displays. The GDL 51/52 can be connected to two devices at a time, whether hardwired or wireless.

Enhancing the traffic picture is Garmin’s patented TargetTrend and TerminalTraffic. TargetTrend provides a clearer picture of the closure rate and trajectory of aerial traffic targets while TerminalTraffic makes it easier to see ADS-B targets on the ground, including ground vehicles.

Garmin boast terrific battery lives for the GDL 51 and 52, with seven hours and five hours respectively. The price tag is $649 and $1,149 respectively and, while the ADS-B data is free, the SiriusXM data and music requires a subscription.