Received quite a surprise this morning with the new 978MHz UAT hardware install & testing with the new 18.104.22.168 software release to see reception out to 159.7nm!
A bit of investigation showed the aircraft N228ME is a TBM-700 turboprop cruising at 26,000 feet while apparently running with a 978MHz UAT system above 18,000 feet mentioned upper altitude limit for 978MHz UAT operation. The RSSI reading was -20.6 at 159.7nm, providing an initial indication at what RSSI level long distance reception will drop out. Closer and lower altitude UAT equipped aircraft also appear to drop out in the -19 to -20 RSSI range.
Meanwhile, up to 14 other GA aircraft, largely local flight school aircraft in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, showed early this morning within the more expected reception range of 75nm, with most operating in within 25nm. This all achieved with FlightAware antenna, filter, Pro Stick, all off-the-shelf hardware. Very nice!!
Range Ring Distance Settings
It now appears I need to reset the range rings to a much larger distance scales after just observing a flight coming in from 150 miles out. Perhaps 50,100, and 150nm better suited for the map!
I expect to see longer reception distances achieved as other 978MHz UAT stations are added and more flights are observed. I look forward to seeing performance values from other stations to help determine how well the new station is performing.