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Brandon Suarez, private pilot and aviation enthusiast, March 6, 2010
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The most noticeable change is the enhanced situational awareness that comes from having a more complete world view then possible with eyes and ears alone. This in and of itself is not what’s impressive, since it’s simply a feature of ADS-B, but the ease of use and flexibility of the system are its real advantages. One of the big complaints, and an area of ongoing research at universities like MIT, is within this realm of Cost/Benefit for GA adoption of ADS-B. From what I can tell, SkyRadar attempts to solve these problems. With a hand held device that is portable and inexpensive enough for the average GA enthusiast to buy, the market is opened tremendously. By using an architecture that is very open and standard, SkyRadar is inherently flexible to upgrades or expansions and could offer price points for different levels of functionality. The device could easily be transferred between aircraft, making it ideal for clubs.

My general impression of the flight was the ADS-B is extremely powerful and seems to enhance the level of safety of the entire national airspace. The resistance to the technology, at least in GA, is coming from the idea that the government is forcing people to buy things to put on their aircraft without an acceptable level of benefit in return. SkyRadar seems to solve this problem in a very unique way. It offers all the capabilities envisioned for the lowest level ADS-B users, namely, the ability to receive weather, terrain, and traffic information. At the same time it offers a level of flexibility that will be extremely attractive to GA pilots and aircraft owners. The system is portable so that it could be moved between a number of aircraft, this seems especially attractive for aviation clubs. It is much less expensive then estimates have place GA ADS-B system at before. In general, I would say that people are skeptical about ADS-B because they haven’t experienced it but after using the system first hand, I’m a firm supporter of ADS-B in general and SkyRadar as the best way to spread the technology to GA.