Help me understand, Stratux/MLAT


#1

Even though I used to own in the past an SBS-3 and a GNS 5890 receivers, I had to stop using them for a while. I’m rebuilding in the hobby and now have a FA Pro Stick and a Raspi3 coming. I’ve now come to find there’s another solution out there, the Stratux, which if I understand correctly, has a 978 radio to capture weather and traffic that does not use regular ADS-B. Correct?

Now enter MLAT. MLAT is supposed to give me traffic not on ADS-B as well, by measuring time elapsed between 2 or more receivers. Also, if I understand correctly, this MLAT capability can be achieved by using Piaware and becoming a feeder to the network. Way I see it, both achieve the same except that by using Stratux hardware you also get weather.

I am mostly interested in capturing traffic that currently is not required to or uses ADS-B out as in most general aviation traffic.

Hope I’m not confusing everyone with the terms as I’m trying to grapple as well with the differences between MLAT and a 978MHz receiver.


#2

MLAT provides most of the traffic that does not broadcast position information.

This is Mode-s transponders and Mode C using a discrete transponder code if there are receivers listening for Mode C in the area.

UAT/978Mhz was supposed to be a less expensive device that could also receive weather and other information. It is only used in the U.S.A. If you want to travel internationally then you need ADS-B 1090Mhz.

UAT/978Mhz will give you other traffic, provided you are in range of a broadcasting tower(not airport tower, ADS-B tower) and are broadcasting UAT out. You can piggy back off other broadcasts, however, you may not get all of the traffic depending on how far away you are from the transmitter.

UAT/978Mhz was created because 1090Mhz is congested. I get 6000(I think) messages per second when I enable mode A/C on my radarcape in NYC. Every time an ATC radar sweeps a Mode A/C/S transponder, it replies. There are additional messages for TACACS replies.

I expect we will see more dual band (978 and 1090) ADS-B in devices in the future. I would want to have both if I spent time in remote locations or close to the ground (like helos) where terrain shielding could be an issue.


#3

Thanks for your reply. Is there a source where one can find out the location of the transmitters for 978?.


#4

google for it.
I found a coverage map
https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/programs/adsb/coverageMap/
https://www.faa.gov/nextgen/programs/adsb/


#5

Found something, believe it was on the Stratux page. Turns out, there’s only two towers near KMCO. Live a couple of miles up north from there and my setup doesn’t see them.

In the end, I just removed the Stratux radios off the RPI and just plugged the ProStick.

I was somewhat discouraged by the available software for Stratux. Either I couldn’t find the setting or there’s just no flight info to be displayed.

I’m talking about callsign and route. Sure, pilots (the intended customers of Stratux) don’t need this info, but I did like the ability to use sectional charts and other goodies.

I’m now looking to find how to have the RPI connect to more than one, or any, WiFi source so that I can take the ProStick on the road. For example, share my iPad internet connection with it.

By the way, Piaware interface sucks. The map is not very configurable. The only way to see info about a target is by selecting it, unlike VRS where you can have it display an info tag.


#6

We have a long list of updates and features to add to the Skyview maps. I think we have some time coming up this summer to get some more work done on it.

I’m talking about callsign and route. Sure, pilots (the intended customers of Stratux) don’t need this info, but I did like the ability to use sectional charts and other goodies.

We have the route information on FlightAware.com which can be found by clicking a plane and then clicking on the FlightAware link. There was a plan to push more information from FlightAware to Skyview but we don’t have a timeline of if or when it will be added.

The software is open sourced and free.

We do accept third party changes to the software after reviewing it and we do take suggestions and feature requests.
https://discussions.flightaware.com/c/flightaware/feature-requests-and-ideas


#7

Thank you. New to Piaware wasn’t sure wether this could be achieved or not.