There is a lot of confusion around what it means to have ADS-B. What is the minimum equipment required to meet the mandate? Can I use a Stratus to meet that requirement?


The short version is no the Stratus will not meet the requirements, and for several reasons.

The final rule requires ADS-B OUT (and the Stratus is only ADS-B IN) that meets particular TSO requirements (see below), and portable units will not.

The FAA has an ADS-B FAQ on their website which has a lot of great ADS-B information.

The minimum equipment required to meet the mandate is addressed by:

What equipment is required by the new rule?

The rule specifies ADS-B Out equipment compliant with either Technical Standard Order (TSO)-C154c (Universal Access Transceiver) or TSO-C166b (1090 ES). However, to operate in Class A airspace, aircraft are required to equip with avionics certified to TSO-C166b.

The FAQ also specifically addresses the question of portable units and says that they will not be allowed:

Will the FAA allow portable/handheld units, or will they have to be panel mounts only?

Installed transponders and GPS units must meet certification standards. Handheld devices and displays that serve only for situational awareness have more flexibility and are not certified installations. In order to comply with 14 CFR § 91.225 and 91.227 aircraft intended to fly in ADS-B airspace must have installed and certified equipment. Portable installations are not compliant to the rule and would only be usable for receiving FIS-B services for situational awareness. The FAA is in the early stages of investigating a portable device for glider aircraft.

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    $\begingroup$ "Portable installations are not compliant to the rule" is probably the single most important part of that second quoted section. $\endgroup$ – egid Jan 15 '14 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ The SkyGuardTWX Vision-Pro ADS-B Transceiver is one such portable device that can provide ADS-B out, which is planned to meet FAA 2020 ADS-B OUT requirement once TSO-C154c certification has been completed. However, it has not yet been approved. If it is eventually approved, there might be more portables from other vendors as well. $\endgroup$ – bovine Jan 16 '14 at 4:15
  • $\begingroup$ I imagine that if the SkyguardTWX is approved that it will have to be permanently mounted to get FAA approval. $\endgroup$ – user5721 Jan 6 '15 at 3:42
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    $\begingroup$ If I remember right, one of the requirements is that the ADS-B out has to be individual aircraft specific. So, that negates the portable ability. $\endgroup$ – slookabill Jan 6 '15 at 4:23
  • $\begingroup$ Each US registered aircraft is assigned a unique mode-s identification. This id must be programmed into the ADS-B transmitter. A portable unit can have that information configured for it. I would be aghast to learn that the portable transmitters did not have a menu option to toggle between several aircraft. $\endgroup$ – 2NinerRomeo Dec 31 '15 at 21:17

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