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I don't know anything about planes (mechanics,electroinics,etc...) so bare with me (and the long post)!

In the USA

With ADS-B coming due in a few years, more GA are implementing their planes with ADS-B Out. They will call approach (who knows nothing about it) and in-turn they call us (center) for the answer. Or if they want to be "nice" they just have the pilot dial our frequency and the GA pilot will ask us (not fun sometimes).

All the GA pilot wants to do is verify with "FAA" that their ADS-B is working (center can see that it works, we have a button to toggle on and off). Once we tell them yes/no they are off the frequency. Sounds simple!!

The issue is Center, Tech-Ops, Supervisors.... don't know anything about ADS-B verification. I've taken upon myself to learn this in hopes to inform other controllers.

Questions~~~

What equipment do you have to have for ADS-B? Mode A/C transponder only or do you also need Mode S too? Is ADS-B tied into Mode S or are they completely 2 different components?

Do you need a Mode S transponder to fly? (I think from what I read Part 121 ..commercial you do, but not required for GA if inside the US)

Does the ADS-B get registered to the N number or the air frame (not sure how you split that up)

What is an Example of an ADS-B "code" ? ....to clarify...If it is registered to the tail number, I would assume you have to register a specific "code" to tie the 2 together.

Is the ICAO hex number the same as the ADS-B number/code?

The reason I ask these question is for processing. A GA will call up and we will attempt to put in a flight plan mid flight (they pop up vfr and we try to work this out together) I tell them I need to give them a code to identify them and start a flight plan. I feel like when everything is entered, I am still missing something that needs to be entered to make sure the computer is aware the plane is ADS-B equipped. If it is tied to the tail number, once I create flight plan mid flight, it should auto acquire whether it is ADS-B equipped with no extra info input.

I ask about ICAO hex because I see some ADS-B equipped GA with hex numbers in the system and some do not have hex numbers but still verified ADS-B equipped. I want to know if they are both needed!!!

I also see Commercial flights with no hex number in the system too but I assume they all should.

Thanks, ZOB controller

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closed as too broad by SMS von der Tann, mins, fooot, kevin, Simon Jun 5 '17 at 8:06

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ You have quite a lot of questions about this, but asking a lot at once doesn't work very well with this site's format. It's best if you limit each question post to something that can be answered in a paragraph or two. Making a big topic like this into multiple questions is encouraged. $\endgroup$ – Dan Hulme Jun 4 '17 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ OK, I was afraid that was going to be the issue. $\endgroup$ – anthony Jun 4 '17 at 12:12
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    $\begingroup$ I think the question can be rewritten to make it fit better here. I'll try to make some changes later today and to answer part of your question. $\endgroup$ – DeltaLima Jun 4 '17 at 12:52
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much. Like I mentioned. I don't know anything about planes. I'm just throwing the questions out as I think of them to try to get to the next step in my process. Thanks again $\endgroup$ – anthony Jun 4 '17 at 12:55
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    $\begingroup$ @JScarry because the FAA requires verification before a rebate can be issued, and because those pilots didn't read the documentation on how to verify it (spoiler alert: you don't need to mention ADS-B to ATC, you only have to operate within certain types of airspace). $\endgroup$ – egid Jun 4 '17 at 19:30
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What equipment do you have to have for ADS-B? Mode A/C transponder only or do you also need Mode S too? Is ADS-B tied into Mode S or are they completely 2 different components?

Either a mode S transponder with Extended Squitter (the ES broadcasts the ADS-s data) which broadcasts on 1090 mhz or a UAT (universal access transceiver) broadcasting only ADS-B data on 978 mhz. Both transmissions are received by FAA ground stations and the aircraft is placed in the ATC computer system where you see the ADS-B info.

Do you need a Mode S transponder to fly? (I think from what I read Part 121 ..commercial you do, but not required for GA if inside the US)

yes, the advent of ADS-B does not change any requirements for transponders. Someday maybe but not now.

What is an Example of an ADS-B "code" ? ....to clarify...If it is registered to the tail number, I would assume you have to register a specific "code" to tie the 2 together.

All ADS-B transmissions must output the same transponder code value that the pilot has dialed into the transponder. All ADS-B equipment has some sort of interface the determine Transponder code and that code goes along with the ADS-B transmission.

Is the ICAO hex number the same as the ADS-B number/code?

ADS-B equipment broadcasts transponder code, ICAO hex, and the pilot's choice of flight ID or N number. There is something called anonymous mode and I'm not sure what's sent while in that mode.

I ask about ICAO hex because I see some ADS-B equipped GA with hex numbers in the system and some do not have hex numbers but still verified ADS-B equipped. I want to know if they are both needed!!!

I've installed approx. 25 ADS-B units in small GA aircraft and every configuration I've seen has a entry for ICAO address. It's possible that you've seen improperly configured units or maybe there's something about it I don't know.

@jScarry> I’m confused about your premise. Why would a pilot call ATC to verify

that their ADSB is working?

The A in ADS-B stands for automatic so it works without any control input from the pilot whatsoever. Its just always on without having to actually turn it on. Consequently, he has no real idea whether or not it is working other than the possible absence of a fail message... so he calls ATC to ask him if his ADS-B is showing up or not. Most likely this is his first flight after the install and he just wants to know that he's showing up and that his $7k is actually doing what it's supposed to.

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    $\begingroup$ It isn't "always on". I failed my first ADS-B check flight because my transponder was in standby on the ground and wasn't responding to interrogation requests. It didn't start reporting until I turned it before take off. Something I've changed since then, it's on when the avionics are turned on. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jun 5 '17 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer Long ago, the FAA recommended having transponders in standby on the ground. They have now changed that and recommend they be on at all times, and ADSB is required to be on at all times if you're equipped. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Jul 21 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ Anonymous mode, if enabled, is automatically activated whenever squawking VFR (1200 in the US). It generates a semi-random aircraft ID and uses that instead of the configured one, plus sets a flag to let receivers know it did so. It also suppresses sending the flight and tail numbers. Nothing else changes. $\endgroup$ – StephenS Jul 21 at 19:57

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