ADS-B Equipped Solo now detects surrounding aircraft!

Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
3,923
Reaction score
2,619
I now have a UAVIONICS PingRX ADS-B receiver operational on my Solo! ArduCopter master (v3.5-RC8 / Green Cube) and the PingRX receiver on accessory bay serial 2. It receives ADS-B data from aircraft equipped with ADS-B out (UAT or Mode-S). The receiver is attached to the side, with antennas vertical as required. A small hole in the side of the body lets the wires in, where they are soldered to the accessory bay header serial 2, 5 volt, and ground.

Solo ADS-B Mounted.JPG


As I've configured it for now, it will display aircraft on the map out to 10 miles. Aircraft within 1000 meter radius around and 500 meter radius vertically will be considered a collision threat. The Solo will take automatic evasive action, kind of like a TCAS RA. Currently it is set to move horizontally out of the way, but it can also move 3 dimensionally. I think I may need to reduce the collision threat radius, because I think it will continue evading until it is 500 or 1000 meters clear of conflict, which is a little crazy. I need to do a little more research on how exactly it will respond.

Solo ADS-B Params.JPG


In the map below from Mission Planner, you can see two nearby aircraft that solo detected simply sitting out on my back deck.

Solo ADS-B Map.JPG

To answer the inevitable first question: No, it will not work on a stock solo with stock firmware. This didn't exist when 3DR forked the early beta of ArduCopter 3.3, therefore it doesn't have any means to function on stock 3DR firmware. You need to be on ArduCopter 3.5+, and to do that safely and reliably today, you need the Pixhawk 2.1 Green Cube to replace the stock Pixhawk 2.0.

To answer the inevitable second question, what aircraft can this detect? It can detect any aircraft equipped with ADS-B OUT. Which means a Mode-S transponder or a UAT. Most commercial airliners, modern private jets, and other high end private aircraft have this. I think most medevac, law enforcement, rescue, etc helicopters will have it, which is good since they are a higher risk to small UAS. Your weekend warrior fair weather fliers cruising low and slow (think cessna 152s, etc) probably do not, and they are the other obvious high risk to small UAS.

The third question will be "how do you test this?" Answer: very carefully :). It works great in SITL simulation. Testing this in reality (outside simulation) is a little more tricky for what i consider to be obvious reasons. I plan to grossly expand the treat radius to get an aircraft far away to trigger it and see how it responds.

Links:
ADS-B Receiver — Copter documentation
pingRX
 
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
1,616
Reaction score
655
Age
41
Does (or rather can) the controller or Solex provide any sort of notification on automatic evasion?

Or do you have to have Mission Planner/QGC/APM?
 
Joined
Sep 8, 2016
Messages
302
Reaction score
69
Age
45
if it moves horizontally out of the way, it could hit something else, so take care with your tests

P.S.: i knew you worked together with Jordy LaForge on this :cool:
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: spieky
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
53
Reaction score
14
Age
34
I know this is kind of off-topic, but why is there a coin on your gimbal?
Im getting my Solo soon, so im still gathering info.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
3,923
Reaction score
2,619
Does (or rather can) the controller or Solex provide any sort of notification on automatic evasion? Or do you have to have Mission Planner/QGC/APM?
Today, Mission Planner is the only GCS that will display other aircraft on the map and provide operator notifications. The 3DR Solo app for Android and iOS never will since 3DR development is long dead. The Solex app for Android and the Side Pilot app for iOS certainly can have the features added since they are still living apps under constant development. They don't do it yet, but it's very possible.

Just to be clear though, the solo will see and avoid with or without a ground station app connected. That is all done onboard without user intervention or input.


if it moves horizontally out of the way, it could hit something else, so take care with your tests
This is where you have be very thoughtful with the avoidance radius parameters. Last night i was able to confirm my suspicions about it's avoidance maneuvers. It will continue moving away until the conflict aircraft is outside the radius. So my original big 1000 meter radius is way too big. It will fly away out of range, and I don't want that. I need to lower it probably 200 meter horizontal. The vertical aspect I probably need to shrink too. If I'm below the tree tops, taking evasive action for a passing plane would be dangerous.

I would actually like to see the vertical avoidance distance automatically scale with altitude. So the higher you are, the larger that vertical distance becomes. That way when you're down low, it is less silly.

P.S.: i knew you worked together with Jordy LaForge on this :cool:
It's all about the tachyons.

I know this is kind of off-topic, but why is there a coin on your gimbal?
Im getting my Solo soon, so im still gathering info.
My GoPro is modified and heavier, so it helps rebalance the gimbal.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2016
Messages
1,154
Reaction score
305
Age
56
Location
Southern Maryland
P2P,
Great write up. I've been considering getting a Ping Rx for my DIY PH powered aircraft.
I do have one question though. If I plan on flying with MP connected to my copter, would I be able to get the same result connecting an ADSB Rx directly to the laptop rather than the copter? I can see the advantage of having the receiver connected to the aircraft if this were a BLOS aircraft, but since I usually fly quite close it would be an easier (and probably cheaper) solution to mount the ADSB receiver to the laptop.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pedals2Paddles
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
1,616
Reaction score
655
Age
41
Now all we need is a spot for this receiver integrated into the AWACS pod up top. :D

All your upgrades in one convenient package.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pedals2Paddles
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
3,923
Reaction score
2,619
P2P,
Great write up. I've been considering getting a Ping Rx for my DIY PH powered aircraft.
I do have one question though. If I plan on flying with MP connected to my copter, would I be able to get the same result connecting an ADSB Rx directly to the laptop rather than the copter? I can see the advantage of having the receiver connected to the aircraft if this were a BLOS aircraft, but since I usually fly quite close it would be an easier (and probably cheaper) solution to mount the ADSB receiver to the laptop.

ArduPilot is not configured to receive ADS-B data from the GCS. Not that it can't be done, but it would have to be designed and engineered by someone.
 
  • Like
Reactions: andrew.baker.142
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
30
Reaction score
3
Age
62
I now have a UAVIONICS PingRX ADS-B receiver operational on my Solo! ArduCopter master (v3.5-RC8 / Green Cube) and the PingRX receiver on accessory bay serial 2. It receives ADS-B data from aircraft equipped with ADS-B out (UAT or Mode-S). The receiver is attached to the side, with antennas vertical as required. A small hole in the side of the body lets the wires in, where they are soldered to the accessory bay header serial 2, 5 volt, and ground.

View attachment 6577


As I've configured it for now, it will display aircraft on the map out to 10 miles. Aircraft within 1000 meter radius around and 500 meter radius vertically will be considered a collision threat. The Solo will take automatic evasive action, kind of like a TCAS RA. Currently it is set to move horizontally out of the way, but it can also move 3 dimensionally. I think I may need to reduce the collision threat radius, because I think it will continue evading until it is 500 or 1000 meters clear of conflict, which is a little crazy. I need to do a little more research on how exactly it will respond.

View attachment 6578


In the map below from Mission Planner, you can see two nearby aircraft that solo detected simply sitting out on my back deck.

View attachment 6576

To answer the inevitable first question: No, it will not work on a stock solo with stock firmware. This didn't exist when 3DR forked the early beta of ArduCopter 3.3, therefore it doesn't have any means to function on stock 3DR firmware. You need to be on ArduCopter 3.5+, and to do that safely and reliably today, you need the Pixhawk 2.1 Green Cube to replace the stock Pixhawk 2.0.

To answer the inevitable second question, what aircraft can this detect? It can detect any aircraft equipped with ADS-B OUT. Which means a Mode-S transponder or a UAT. Most commercial airliners, modern private jets, and other high end private aircraft have this. I think most medevac, law enforcement, rescue, etc helicopters will have it, which is good since they are a higher risk to small UAS. Your weekend warrior fair weather fliers cruising low and slow (think cessna 152s, etc) probably do not, and they are the other obvious high risk to small UAS.

The third question will be "how do you test this?" Answer: very carefully :). It works great in SITL simulation. Testing this in reality (outside simulation) is a little more tricky for what i consider to be obvious reasons. I plan to grossly expand the treat radius to get an aircraft far away to trigger it and see how it responds.

Links:
ADS-B Receiver — Copter documentation
pingRX


This is very interesting. Thank you for sharing this. I'm wondering if we'll ever have approval for a portable ADS-B out device?
On aircraft, they require a certified GPS position source and certified altitude encoder driving the extended squitter transponder.

Regarding the stock Pixhawk 2 and the Pixhawk 2.1 Green Cube, where can I read about the hardware differences? Is the processor faster? Better sensors? As a software engineer, I'm curious as to what the differences are in the hardware.

Thank you,
Chris Shaker
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
25
Reaction score
12
Age
63
What is going to stop the FAA deciding that if this system is viable it will eventually be required on all commercial drones and Maybe all civilian drones .
Also just want to veryfy that this system is not broadcasting its position .
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2016
Messages
934
Reaction score
270
Age
56
Location
Naples, FL
What is going to stop the FAA deciding that if this system is viable it will eventually be required on all commercial drones and Maybe all civilian drones .
Also just want to veryfy that this system is not broadcasting its position .
What P2P installed is just a receiver and not a transponder.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2016
Messages
1,154
Reaction score
305
Age
56
Location
Southern Maryland
What is going to stop the FAA deciding that if this system is viable it will eventually be required on all commercial drones and Maybe all civilian drones .
Also just want to veryfy that this system is not broadcasting its position .

The same manufacturer also offers a transponder, but it is significantly more expensive.
I've read that the ADS-B system could ( would) become overwhelmed if every UAS were required to transmit.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Messages
3,923
Reaction score
2,619
For hobby use? Practically 0%.

For commercial use, I think full ADS-B out (UAT or Mode-S) it is likely to become a requirement under certain circumstances eventually. For example, commercial use in class A, B, or C airspace above 400ft AGL. By the time this becomes a requirement, if it ever does, it will be even cheaper than it already is.

Please remember that even manned aircraft are not all required to have ADS-B under all circumstances everywhere. The impending 2020 requirement for all manned aircraft to have ADS-B only applies to airspace and aircraft that currently require an operating transponder to begin with. Class D, E, and G airspace under 10,000ft MSL does not require a transponder even for manned aircraft, and therefore will never require ADS-B either. The vast majority of UAS operation falls within this airspace, so commercial users don't need gloom and doom.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OldCoder

New Threads

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
12,862
Messages
146,422
Members
15,345
Latest member
valkata752