According to a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems news release, the Guardian remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) has successfully demonstrated the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system that allows drones to fly cooperatively within the national airspace system. The ADS-B gear allows Air Traffic Controllers to know the precise location and flight plan of the drone.
During the test, held in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, and the FAA, Guardian’s ADS-B IN-capable transponder detected other ADS-B-equipped aircraft in the vicinity and displayed the aircraft on a display within the Ground Control Station (GCS). Concurrently, Guardian’s ADS-B OUT transponder notified other aircraft and ATC of its location and velocity.
The FAA has mandated that all aircraft, including remotely piloted and autonomous robot aircraft, must be equipped with ADS-B systems by 2020. The Guardian RPA is based on the Predator B, modified for maritime operations.