Email from David C

From: David C
Date: May 22 2019
Subject: Question for UCAP podcast

Hi Jack

I’ve been a great fan of the UCAP podcast for many years. Based in the UK but also have an FAA piggyback licence with an IR, and have flown in various parts of the USA including New England, Florida & California.

I saw that Aireon has now moved into the trial phase. It's the satellite system that can pick up ADS-B out transmissions, providing coverage anywhere in the globe outside of radar and ADS-B receiver range.

One statement in their press release last month was that it “provides real-time air traffic surveillance and tracking to 100 percent of ADS-B equipped aircraft on the planet”.

My question is whether this is true or not? For one thing, I suspect its only 1090MHz rather than UAT. For another, I’m aware that airliners have transponder antenna on the top as well as bottom of the airframes, whereas most GA is underneath only.

Lastly, although they have this information, will it be shared/distributed widely to other ANSPs (ATC companies) worldwide including D&D (Distress and Diversion) for emergencies? With great ADS-B ground station coverage in the US, this may not be relevant for US continental GA but I wondered if you guys had any opinion or other insights?

David C