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Mon, Apr 01, 2013

Aspen Offers ECM For GA

Will Spoof UAV Signals Should Drones Fly Too Close To Equipped Airplanes

ANN April 1st Special Coverage

Aspen President John Uczekaj announced today that the company will be offering Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) for installation in GA airplanes.

Uczekaj (pictured) said that the move is in anticipation of FAA approval of UAV testing in the NAS. “We know GA pilots are concerned about sharing airspace with drones,” he said.

“But we as a company are always out ahead of the curve, and we wanted to be the first to market with this potentially life-saving technology.”

The ECM system will use ADS-B technology to track any UAVs flying in the vicinity of an equipped airplane. “They’ll show up on the PFD just like they would any other TCAS equipped aircraft,” Uczekaj said. If the drone is determined to be too close to the GA airplane, an audible warning will alert the pilot with “Drone, Drone, Drone” and give relative bearing and altitude.

If the UAV continues to close, the airplane will emit jamming signals that will spoof the drone’s GPS and turn it  away from the manned airplane.

“It’s an important safety improvement,” Uczekaj said. “If we didn’t do this, they’d probably have to retrofit every GA airplane in the fleet with a full-airframe parachute.”

The ECM1000 will initially be sold as a stand-alone unit, but Uczekaj said that they are working of software upgrades for the EFD1000 line. The company is already well along in the certification process, he said, and it is expected to be Connected-Panel enabled.

FMI: www.aspenavionics.com

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