ADSB978 2015

Product FAQ’s

  • What is ADS-B? +

    ADS-B stands for Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast, a part of the FAA's Next Generation Transportation System (NextGen) for surveillance and tracking. Most aircraft operating in the NAS will be required to equip with some form of ADS-B "Out" by January 1, 2020.

  • If I do not need a transponder today, will I need ADS-B? +

    Not necessarily, but operations within Class A, B, and C airspaces to include the airspaces above and below the B and C airspace including all airspace inside the Mode C ring. Additionally Class E 10,000 ft and above, or GOMEX operations 3,000 ft. and above will be required to equip. Furthermore, in order to receive the full Free benefits of the ADS-B IN you will need to become a valid client in the system to receive those benefits.

  • What is a “Valid Client”? +

    To become a valid client into the system, your aircraft must have a properly installed ADS-B transmitter, and position source. If you are within range of a ground station, you will receive TIS-B/ADS-R on your identified RX frequency (assigned by the on-board TX configuration).

  • Will the FDL-978 take place of my transponder? +

    The FDL-978 allows you the flexibility to become ADS-B compliant, and runs in conjunction with legacy transponders. However, even though ADS-B will become the FAA's Primary source for surveillance, transponders will be required as a secondary (backup) surveillance source for the time being.

  • When will I have ADS-B coverage in my area? +

    The ground stations have been installed across most of the US already, such as, majority of the Mid- West, East Coast, West Coast, Gulf Region, and Alaska. The FAA is planning to have full US coverage by mid-2014. Please feel free to visit the FAA website interactive map to view current ADS-B coverage at

  • What is TIS-B? +

    Traffic Information Service – Broadcast, Traffic advisory information broadcasted from the nearest Ground Station for your reported position. Transmissions include ADS-R (rebroadcast of ADS-B targets that are utilizing the opposite transmit frequency than you have indicated you are receiving on), and TIS-B (legacy targets that may not be utilizing an ADS-B transmitter, but are being swept by radar). Ensuring you receive full comprehensive traffic information within your “hockey Puck” (15 NM radius, +/- 2500 ft.). ADS-B targets transmitting on the same frequency you are receiving on are not re-broadcasted, assuming you are receiving those targets directly.

  • What is FIS-B? +

    Flight Information Service – Broadcast, FIS-B is the ground-to-air broadcast of meteoro-logical and aeronautical information. FIS-B products may be textually or graphically de-picted. Available products include Graphical information, CONUS and Regional NEXRAD radar, as well as Textual information, such as, AIRMETs, SIGMETs, METARs, NOTAMs, PIREPS, SUAs, TAFs, Winds & Temps Aloft, with additional products planned for future release.
  • Can I display TIS-B/FIS-B onto my existing display? +

    Many display manufactures have already started to implement ADS-B inputs to display the FIS-B, and TIS-B products offered by the ADS-B system. Please verify with your display manufacturer if they can accept ADS-B information. For customers that either don’t have a panel mounted display or chose to not use it for TIS-B/FIS-B products, the iPad with its many popular apps is also an option to view ADS-B products as well.
  • Can I use the same antenna as my transponder? +

    The FDL-978 will utilize UHF (L-Band) antennas similar to your current transponder antenna. Under extreme circumstances a Diplexer can be installed to utilize a single antenna for a transponder and ADS- B Transmitter. It is highly recommended to install a dedicated antenna for ADS-B transmitters.
  • Can I use my existing GPS receiver with the FDL-978? +

    The ADS-B system does require high integrity GPS position source to be a valid ADS-B client, it is recommended to have at least a TSO-C145/146 GPS/WAAS position source. Please refer to AC20-165 (appendix 2) for position source requirements. FreeFlight Systems offer the 1201 and 1203C series GPS/ WAAS Sensors to supply position source options that fully meet the ADS-B requirements worldwide.
  • Can I use my existing GPS Antenna? +

    In certain circumstances utilizing an existing antenna with a certified splitter is capable of being done, however, a strict interference test, and full functionality test would need to be performed to insure the system is functioning properly.
  • Will this take place of TCAS? +

    ADS-B will not take the place of any current TCAS solutions. Operations that require TCAS will not change.
  • Why must I switch to a 1090ES above FL 180? +

    According to the FAA's Final Ruling, all aircraft operating in the designated airspace FL180 and above, would need to transmit ADS-B utilizing the 1090ES band. Aircraft that operate below FL180, have the option to equip with a 978 UAT solution or a 1090ES solution.
  • Will I see traffic on 1090 frequency? +

    Yes, a portion of your ADS-B “out” transmission identifies which frequency receiver you have on board your aircraft, and the Ground Stations will know which frequency to transmit the Re-broadcast information to you. For instance, if you are equipped with a UAT 978 MHz transceiver, you will broadcast ADS- B packets to the ground stations, part of which identify which receiver you have on board. With that information the ground stations will re-broadcast back to you the area 1090ES ADS-B targets, as well as Legacy targets being sweeped by SSR (Secondary Surveillance Radar), assuming you are receiving all 978 (UAT) targets directly (Air-to-Air).
  • I am getting a traffic picture with my ADS-B receiver but it’s not showing all traffic. How come? +

    The traffic information you receive is dependent on a few variables, such as, Your aircraft being a valid client into the ADS-B system, your transmitter being properly configured to identify which band receiver you have installed, etc. If you are not receiving a full traffic picture please consult your local Authorized Avionics Dealer to verify ADS-B functionality.
  • How do I know if I am transmitting my “OUT” signal? +

    Transmitters, when appropriately installed, will have a method of pilots verifying if the transmitter has any critical messages or if there is a fault with the system. Pilots can also ask ATC if they are being reported as an ADS-B client.
  • Can I continue to receive weather (FIS-B) above FL 180? +

    FIS-B services are available in 100% of the Coverage Area up to FL240, and 90% of the coverage area up to FL400. The FL 180 threshold is only applicable to for ADS-B OUT.
  • Can I receive my weather on this portable XXXX using your receiver? +

    Various manufactures may implement the capabilities to display the ADS-B received information, however compatibility will depend on the interface utilized. All of FreeFlight Systems products utilize the standard Capstone Datalink Interface Protocol, please verify with your display manufacturer to confirm display capability.
  • Can I track a fleet of aircraft? +

    Yes, built into the architecture of the ADS-B network is a protocol that will allow you to track your specific aircraft. In order to do this you will need to purchase a computer based program and verify ownership of the aircraft you are requesting to track. This is done as a safety and security feature.
  • Will I need an STC to install this product? +

    Originally the FAA did state that installations would be limited to STC approvals only. Now with successful AML STC completions, FSDOs have begun to accept Field Approvals to verify installation in aircraft that are not covered by AML STCs.
  • How much will my installation cost? +

    Installation costs will vary for a wide variety of reasons, i.e., type of aircraft, currently installed equipment, access to installation areas, to name a few. Please contact your local Authorized Avionics dealer for a complete Installation estimate.
  • What if I already have a GTX-330ES Transponder, but not a WAAS/GPS? +

    FreeFlight Systems offers a wide range of solutions for various different aircraft needs. One such solution is through a partnership with Garmin, utilizing our 1201 GPS/WAAS Sensor. This sensor solution would be capable of providing GPS position data to make your GTX-330ESTransponder ADS-B OUT compliant.
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