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Author Topic: RadarBox - The First ADS-B Receiver in Space  (Read 20568 times)

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AirNav Development

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RadarBox - The First ADS-B Receiver in Space
« on: May 12, 2009, 03:56:11 am »
We are finally releasing what has been one of the most important achievements for AirNav Systems. Our RadarBox receiver will be in space. This clearly shows the level of accuracy and reliability that RadarBox hardware and software got in the last 2 years.

In cooperation with a Canadian University, AirNav Systems is providing the hardware and software for their FLOAT program, "Flying Laboratory for Observation of ADS-B Transmissions". The system is being integrated by their Physics and Space Science Department.

The test balloon launch is scheduled for launch in late May 2009. The objective is to detect ADS-B transmissions from aircraft and characterize signal quality. The balloon will reach an altitude of FL1000 (100000 feet,  18 miles or 30 Km). Total flight time of 2.5 hours.

The information gathered from the experiment will enable the development of a satellite mission dedicated to the reception and retransmission of ADS-B data in real time.

We will keep you informed with more news and photos of the first launch.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 11:37:15 pm by AirNav Development »

AirNav Development

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Re: RadarBox - The First ADS-B Receiver in Space
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 04:05:42 am »
First photos of the ADS-B monitoring system powered by AirNav RadarBox Receiver Hardware and Software.


AirNav Development

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Re: RadarBox - The First ADS-B Receiver in Space
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2009, 10:09:26 am »
AirNav RadarBox - The First and Only ADS-B Receiver in Space

SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF THE FIRST TEST BALLOON ON TUESDAY, 26 MAY 2009, 12:21 EDT

The Royal Military College of Canada launched its first high-altitude research balloon this week, opening up new opportunities for research by the university’s scientists and taking the first steps towards future improvements in aviation safety.

The balloon mission, called FLOAT (Flying Laboratory for Observation of ADS-B Transmissions), was a project of the Department of Physics (Space Science), with sponsorship from Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and support from Transport Canada, Nav Canada, AirNav Systems and Huron County.  FLOAT’s goal was to observe ADS-B signals from commercial aircraft from high altitudes, to characterize the signal strength and accuracy from far above the aircraft.  ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast) is a navigational transponder system used by aircraft to share their position, velocity, and identity with each other.  Nav Canada, the provider of air traffic services in Canadian airspace, has recently begun using ADS-B for air traffic control, and expansion of this service is planned in the coming years.

The FLOAT payload was launched from Wingham airport in mid-western Ontario at 12:21 EDT on Tuesday, 26 May 2009.  It was carried aloft by a high-altitude balloon of the type used for meteorological soundings, reaching a height of approximately 90,000 feet above sea level, where the balloon burst as planned.  From there the payload descended by parachute to a field 55 km east of the launch site, where it landed at approximately 14:25 EDT, after a flight of 2 hours, 4 minutes. The payload was recovered intact by RMC personnel about one hour after the landing. Throughout the flight, the team kept in close co-ordination with air traffic authorities to ensure safety to aviation.

The primary payload was a commercial ADS-B receiver provided by AirNav Systems LLC.  The ADS-B data, along with information from GPS, environmental, and housekeeping sensors, was transmitted to a ground station located at the launch site, as well as being stored on-board for later recovery.  Due to a failure of the on-board computer, data collected during the latter portion of the flight was not recorded. However, the partial data set which was obtained will now be analyzed at RMC, and is expected to provide useful scientific information, as well as engineering knowledge regarding the payload systems.

The entire mission was designed, built, and operated by graduate and undergraduate students in the Space Mission Design courses taught in RMC’s Physics department (PH 559 and PH 448), under the supervision of their professor Captain Ron Vincent.  The mission was developed in a very short time frame – only five months from kick-off to launch, including design, procurement, integration and operations.  In addition to the scientific data, the experience provided valuable education and operational experience to the students, who learned a great deal about the development, management, and operation of a space mission from their five months of hard work.

The successful conclusion of the mission includes several achievements for the team, including:
- The first-ever collection of ADS-B data from a balloon-borne payload.
- Qualification of the student-designed launch system, giving RMC a new capability for upper-atmosphere research.
- Qualification of the team’s novel tracking strategy, using commercial components to replace the heavy and energy-intensive transponders normally used on such missions.

Due to the performance of the launch system and payload carrier (both designed by the students), all of the key hardware survived the mission.  A second mission is under consideration, to make use of this hardware and the spare equipment not used for the first flight.

The successful conclusion of the FLOAT mission shows the strength of the Space Science program offered by RMC, and opens the way for future developments in air traffic management based on ADS-B.  For example, data from FLOAT could be used in the development of a satellite-based ADS-B surveillance system, which would provide both experimental and operational data to air traffic controllers, further enhancing the safety and security of air traffic in Canada.

The members of the student team wish to thank staff in the Physics and Electrical Engineering departments at RMC, as well as personnel from the supporting agencies for their assistance, which contributed to the success of the mission.

AirNav Development

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Re: RadarBox - The First ADS-B Receiver in Space
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2009, 05:03:20 pm »
Another successful launch for the FLOAT experiment carrying an AirNav RadarBox ADS-B on board.

"The high-altitude research balloon carrying FLOAT was launched from Wingham airport in mid-western Ontario at 11:31 EDT on Friday, 12 June 2009. At its highest point, FLOAT rose 92,950 feet – 28.3 kilometers – over southern Ontario. For comparison, the aircraft being monitored were mostly large airliners which cruise at altitudes between 25,000 and 40,000 ft (7.6 – 12.2 km)."

"The primary payload was a commercial ADS-B receiver provided by AirNav Systems
LLC. The ADS-B data, along with information from GPS, environmental, and
housekeeping sensors, was transmitted to a ground station located at the launch site, as
well as being stored on-board for later recovery."

More details on the attached pdf.

AirNav Development

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Re: RadarBox - The First ADS-B Receiver in Space
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2009, 10:44:53 pm »
Photos of the Second Launch on a High Altitude Balloon.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 10:50:05 pm by AirNav Development »

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Re: RadarBox - The First ADS-B Receiver in Space
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 04:50:36 am »
More photos, this time with comments.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 04:57:36 am by AirNav Development »

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Re: RadarBox - The First ADS-B Receiver in Space
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009, 04:52:41 am »
ADS-B reception analysis.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 04:58:09 am by AirNav Development »