UAvionix offers free receivers for Hurricane Dorian recovery efforts

September 3, 2019  - By
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Image taken by the ICEYE-X2 satellite shows Grand Bahama island on Monday covered by Hurricane Dorian's storm surge. Previous coastline is outlined in yellow and roads in white. (Photo: ICEYE)

Image taken by the ICEYE-X2 satellite shows Grand Bahama island on Monday covered by Hurricane Dorian’s storm surge. Previous coastline is outlined in yellow and roads in white. (Photo: ICEYE)

UAvionix is offering free pingRX unmanned aircraft system (UAS) ADS-B receivers to first responders and UAS service organizations participating in rescue and recovery efforts associated with Hurricane Dorian.

Hurricane Dorian is expected to travel along the Eastern coast of the U.S. northward at a slow pace, creating extensive damage from winds and flooding.

UAvionix is a designer and manufacturer of communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) equipment for unmanned and manned aircraft.

The pingRX. (Photo: uAvionix)

The pingRX. (Photo: uAvionix)

PingRX is a dual-frequency ADS-B receiver designed for use onboard a UAS. Retailing for $249 and weighing 5 grams, pingRX can provide the operator with a digital view of ADS-B-equipped aircraft in the airspace up to hundreds of miles away.

When integrated with a compatible autopilot — such as ARDUPILOT, Pixhawk, PX4 or the Cube — local ADS-B traffic is displayed on the ground control station (GCS) display.

Image: National Weather Service

Image: National Weather Service

The FAA’s mandate for ADS-B OUT equipage on manned aircraft has a deadline of Jan. 1, 2020, so equipage levels are currently high. Users are cautioned, however, that equipage is not at 100%, so reliance on ADS-B as a sole means of detect and avoid (DAA) is not advised.

In 2017, in response to Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in Houston, Texas, UAS were used extensively for the first time in recovery and rescue efforts. The use of UAS has continued to grow in response to hurricane efforts ever since.

Photo:

Photos: NOAA

“Over the past few years, the use of drones in hurricane and natural disaster recovery efforts has increased significantly due to the value of the real-time data collected in combination with ease of deployment,” said Christian Ramsey, uAvionix president. “First responders and recovery crews will undoubtedly work tirelessly for weeks in response to Dorian. We hope to make these efforts just a bit safer and encourage good airspace safety practices with the use of the pingRX systems.”

The FAA has published guidance for UAS operators, urging strict adherence to Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) and Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR). The airspace in these areas can be crowded and unpredictable.

First responders and UAS service organizations are encouraged to contact uAvionix at responseteam@uavionix.com for details on the offer.

Grand Bahama Island before Hurricane Dorian. (Photo: ICEYE)

Grand Bahama Island before Hurricane Dorian. (Photo: Google)

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About the Author:


Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s sister website, Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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