uAvionix Ping200S ADS-B/Mode S Transponder Approved by FCC for Drones, Balloons and Gliders

The small yet powerful unit can transmit to distances of 200 nautical miles, maker claims.

uAvionix Ping 200S
The tiny Ping200S can report an unmanned aircraft's identification, type, position, velocity and course via ADS-B from 200 nm away.uAvionix

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved uAvionix Corp.’s Ping200S ADS-B-capable Mode S transponder. The tiny 50-gram unit, measuring just 59 by 57 by 17 mm, is ideal for drones, high-altitude balloons and nonpowered gliders, the manufacturer says. The Ping 200S also combines low-power drain with a powerful transmitter delivering the same safety and situational awareness capabilities of traditional aircraft transponders, by responding to traditional radar, as well as threat collision and avoidance system (TCAS) interrogations. The Ping can report an unmanned aircraft’s identification, type, position, velocity and course at one-second intervals via ADS-B as far as 200 nm away.

FCC approval means the Ping 200S now meets the agency's standards to transmit on the 1090-MHz frequency with a nominal output of 250W while ensuring the unit does not interfere with other nearby electronics. In addition to FCC approval, the Ping200S meets the performance requirements of TSO-C199 as a Class A Traffic Awareness Beacon System (TABS)

"Until now, operators requiring a transponder had to choose between unlicensed devices or heavier, power-hungry legacy solutions," said Paul Beard, CEO of uAvionix. "The Ping200S will extend flight time and increase available aircraft payload for high altitude balloon and beyond line of sight (BLOS) UAV operators with no compromise to safe operation or performance."