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Garmin suing uAvionix?

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FWIW, the meaning of "obvious" with respect to patents is not at all what you might think.   The bar is actually quite high, i.e., something has to be really, seriously, obvious to one "skilled in the arts".    The patent is pretty clearly teaching how to make an ADS-B system work with reduced connectivity by sniffing own-ship transmissions.   I doubt that citing other technologies that sniff a transmission and do something with it would be considered prior art if they weren't in the context of ADS-B.   The claims are all pretty clear that the context is an ADS-B system.

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3 hours ago, teejayevans said:

I think it does have a radio, it’s just using the DC wiring as antenna to capture the signals.

Maybe so.  I didn't see it listed on their website, but I might've just missed it.

2 minutes ago, EricJ said:

FWIW, the meaning of "obvious" with respect to patents is not at all what you might think.   The bar is actually quite high, i.e., something has to be really, seriously, obvious to one "skilled in the arts".    The patent is pretty clearly teaching how to make an ADS-B system work with reduced connectivity by sniffing own-ship transmissions.   I doubt that citing other technologies that sniff a transmission and do something with it would be considered prior art if they weren't in the context of ADS-B.   The claims are all pretty clear that the context is an ADS-B system.

Yeah, in patent litigation that is true (he who spins the better story, right?).  On the other hand, the Inter Partes Review is specifically intended point out examination errors, such as failing to realize the patent is just applying a known technique (prior art) to another application with no novel elements (but do it on a airplane!).  Lots of computer and business process patents have been invalidated via that route and for that reason.  I'm just hoping the same applies here...

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This is from the TSO install manual that is now posted.  I'm curious if they reworded this following the garmin lawsuit or if they always included the wording that it was a power line monitor?

uavionix manual.PNG

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On 8/23/2018 at 11:45 AM, bob865 said:

I'm concerned it may have a 1090 radio, even if it may not be specifically used for that.  This is a screenshot from the app.  I don't have mine yet, but the app shows an option for a 1090 reciever.

As for HAM, the two things that immediately come to mind, would be repeaters (recieves on one frequency and re-broadcasts on another) and the old TNC units which were RF based Modems and I feel like those are a stretch.

Screenshot_20180823-143824_SkyBeacon.jpg

That's a configuration parameter on what your ADS-B IN capability is (IN not out) and nothing to do with the Out side. Its important because the ADS-B OUT data packet tells the ADS-B ground station if you are receiving only 978 IN traffic or only 1090 IN or both 978 and 1090 IN Traffic, so it doesn't rebroadcast to you what you are already receiving air-to-air on your IN unit. 

Edited by kortopates
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I got to thinking about the 'prior art' topic that came up earlier.  Wouldn't the stratus and straux both be examples of prior art?  They recieve a signal from a transponder, repackage it, and reboradcast it for use on a different system?

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18 minutes ago, bob865 said:

I got to thinking about the 'prior art' topic that came up earlier.  Wouldn't the stratus and straux both be examples of prior art?  They recieve a signal from a transponder, repackage it, and reboradcast it for use on a different system?

No, those are both Ads-b IN only units i.e. 978 UAT receivers only. 

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5 minutes ago, kortopates said:

No, those are both Ads-b IN only units i.e. 978 UAT receivers only. 

The stratux I built and my Stratus 2 are both dual band.  They will both pick up 1090 and 978.  But my point is they perform the same actions:

  1. Recieve a package from a transponder
    1. GDL-82 recieves the squawk
    2. stratus recieves an ads-b package
  2. Adds relevant info and repackages
    1. GDL-82 adds the aircraft name and position and packages in ADS-B format
    2. stratus adds gps location and AHRS info and packages in foreflight format
  3. Rebroadcast
    1. GDL-82 transmits ADS-B broadcast on 978 UAT
    2. stratus rebroadcasts on 2.4ghz WiFi

I guess we are still back to the patent being HOW it recieves the info and not what it does with it?  Which if that's the case, that seems pretty cut and dried too since the GDL connects directly to the transponder coax and the skybeacon listens to the broacast (aircraft wiring as an antenna).

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4 hours ago, bob865 said:

The stratux I built and my Stratus 2 are both dual band.  They will both pick up 1090 and 978.  But my point is they perform the same actions:

  1. Recieve a package from a transponder
    1. GDL-82 recieves the squawk
    2. stratus recieves an ads-b package
  2. Adds relevant info and repackages
    1. GDL-82 adds the aircraft name and position and packages in ADS-B format
    2. stratus adds gps location and AHRS info and packages in foreflight format
  3. Rebroadcast
    1. GDL-82 transmits ADS-B broadcast on 978 UAT
    2. stratus rebroadcasts on 2.4ghz WiFi

I guess we are still back to the patent being HOW it recieves the info and not what it does with it?  Which if that's the case, that seems pretty cut and dried too since the GDL connects directly to the transponder coax and the skybeacon listens to the broacast (aircraft wiring as an antenna).

My immediate thought is that this won't be close enough to count...  However, I will freely admit this is getting into the minutia that needs attorneys.

BTW, from my understanding of the way uAvionix' does it, don't think "antenna" and do think "side-channel".  We like to think of the electrical system as this nice, consistent 14 or 28 VDC signal, but the reality is that it is extremely noisy.  uAvionix just realized the transponder's transmission would induce some decode-able noise on the electrical system.

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The stratux I built and my Stratus 2 are both dual band.  They will both pick up 1090 and 978.  But my point is they perform the same actions:
  1. Recieve a package from a transponder
    1. GDL-82 recieves the squawk
    2. stratus recieves an ads-b package
  2. Adds relevant info and repackages
    1. GDL-82 adds the aircraft name and position and packages in ADS-B format
    2. stratus adds gps location and AHRS info and packages in foreflight format
  3. Rebroadcast
    1. GDL-82 transmits ADS-B broadcast on 978 UAT
    2. stratus rebroadcasts on 2.4ghz WiFi
I guess we are still back to the patent being HOW it recieves the info and not what it does with it?  Which if that's the case, that seems pretty cut and dried too since the GDL connects directly to the transponder coax and the skybeacon listens to the broacast (aircraft wiring as an antenna).

The patent is a rebroadcast of an Adsb out data packet. I believe the analogy fails in 2 ways - it’s neither Adsb out data nor is the transmission medium and protocol using Wi-fi.


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I hope the SkyBeacon guys win! What do you think the odds are the Garmin lawyers will ask if anyone is a pilot/ aircraft owner during jury selection?

Edited by Heloman

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An actual trial is likely years away, if ever . . . .

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2 items come to my mind-

1) Why do we need the WAAS requirement? (We'll get to that later)

2) How will ADSB "help" GA?

#2 first- "we get the "IN" solution! Whooppee!  Take a read at the entire GAO report from years ago and you will find that the GAO even said that ADSB "wasn't justified financially for what it provides to GA". The "IN" solution stuff was only added as an incentive to get the issue passed in the first place. 

The "talk" is that the more accurate location of aircraft will help with "closer spacing" and more capacity in the airspace system. The only place where this will help "maybe" is on long decents for large aircraft in major airports. As reports have stated. You will still have runway capacity issues to deal with.

Now ask yourself who else will use it where WE will be involved? Mexico has no indication of using it right now, Canada has said they will only implement it at high altitude over Hudson Bay, the Bajamas south have no interest and we ain't flying to Asia or Europe for the most part. 

What the FAA gets out of it big time is removing most of the RADAR systems in the country and not having to maintain them $$$$$$$$$$.  Putting the cost of air traffic control on the users and not the government. Actually a well thought out way of transferring one part of the ATC cost to the users. 

Let me ask this- why do we need the less than 30 foot EPEs with WAAS for our airborne location? Why wouldn't non-WAAS EPEs of a couple hundred feet work when airborne?

If you read the enabling legislation the system was designed from the top down to us and part of the legislation requires ALL ground vehicles at major airports to be ADSB equipped so they be tracked for violations of taxiway and runway incursions. THAT'S where the small EPE comes in, NOT while airborne.  So because they need it at the top of the pyramid we eat it at the bottom and have to have WAAS.

AFAIK, there are only 2 makers of "approved" WAAS chips (now maybe 3 with Uav). That is the price hangup for most ADSB entrants. A "required mandate" for all with a very limited field of "approved" manufacturers.  

Edited by cliffy
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1 hour ago, cliffy said:

2 items come to my mind-

1) Why do we need the WAAS requirement? (We'll get to that later)

2) How will ADSB "help" GA?

#2 first- "we get the "IN" solution! Whooppee!  Take a read at the entire GAO report from years ago and you will find that the GAO even said that ADSB "wasn't justified financially for what it provides to GA". The "IN" solution stuff was only added as an incentive to get the issue passed in the first place. 

The "talk" is that the more accurate location of aircraft will help with "closer spacing" and more capacity in the airspace system. The only place where this will help "maybe" is on long decents for large aircraft in major airports. As reports have stated. You will still have runway capacity issues to deal with.

Now ask yourself who else will use it where WE will be involved? Mexico has no indication of using it right now, Canada has said they will only implement it at high altitude over Hudson Bay, the Bajamas south have no interest and we ain't flying to Asia or Europe for the most part. 

What the FAA gets out of it big time is removing most of the RADAR systems in the country and not having to maintain them $$$$$$$$$$.  Putting the cost of air traffic control on the users and not the government. Actually a well thought out way of transferring one part of the ATC cost to the users. 

Let me ask this- why do we need the less than 30 foot EPEs with WAAS for our airborne location? Why wouldn't non-WAAS EPEs of a couple hundred feet work when airborne?

If you read the enabling legislation the system was designed from the top down to us and part of the legislation requires ALL ground vehicles at major airports to be ADSB equipped so they be tracked for violations of taxiway and runway incursions. THAT'S where the small EPE comes in, NOT while airborne.  So because they need it at the top of the pyramid we eat it at the bottom and have to have WAAS.

AFAIK, there are only 2 makers of "approved" WAAS chips (now maybe 3 with Uav). That is the price hangup for most ADSB entrants. A "required mandate" for all with a very limited field of "approved" manufacturers.  

Keep in mind that we will be increasingly sharing the sky with autonomous aircraft.  If they are equipped with ADS-B out then we have a better chance of avoiding them.  More importantly if we are broadcasting our positions those autonomous aircraft are better able to avoid us.

While that may not have been the original intent of implementing ADS-B it has the potential to be very beneficial to us.

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Yes but if the FAA allows drones (which they have) and separation of aircraft is an ATC function, then the cost should be borne by the FAA and the drone world. As the GAO report says. 

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6 minutes ago, cliffy said:

Yes but if the FAA allows drones (which they have) and separation of aircraft is an ATC function, then the cost should be borne by the FAA and the drone world. As the GAO report says. 

Separation of VFR aircraft has never been an ATC function. 

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Yes but ADSB IS an ATC function and drones need the separation controlled by something. Therefore, the FAA needs to fund it for that segment of aviation.

Why put the burden on us who didn't "need" it in the first place? Mark 2 eyeballs worked great for many decades. IFR is a different can of worms totally ATC controlled.   

We will find that just as TCAS was "cool" in the Boeing cockpit when it first came out, its actual utility was far less.  We spent a lot of time looking at the fish finder at first but the novelty wore away after a while to ignoring it in most instances. 

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9 minutes ago, mooniac15u said:

Keep in mind that we will be increasingly sharing the sky with autonomous aircraft.  If they are equipped with ADS-B out then we have a better chance of avoiding them.  More importantly if we are broadcasting our positions those autonomous aircraft are better able to avoid us.

While that may not have been the original intent of implementing ADS-B it has the potential to be very beneficial to us.

When the mandate was first announced, I was having a flashback to the 1990s and the FAA mandate that all new transponder installs had to be Mode S. There I was with a failing King transponder (had received a couple of letters from the FAA stating I needed to fix my transponder or else). Fortunately, the mandate was rescinded. 

Having flown with a full ADS-B in/out solution for 18 months, I clearly see the value. I can't tell you the number of times the L-3 9000 has shown or announced traffic that I just did not see visually -- at all. Even with delayed weather, it is close enough that used in conjunction with my Stormscope, it has increased my situational awareness. Much better than asking Center "what do you see" or trying to reach FlightWatch and asking for a weather update. Now if they can find a way to upload ATIS reports.

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15 minutes ago, cliffy said:

Yes but ADSB IS an ATC function and drones need the separation controlled by something. Therefore, the FAA needs to fund it for that segment of aviation.

Why put the burden on us who didn't "need" it in the first place? Mark 2 eyeballs worked great for many decades. IFR is a different can of worms totally ATC controlled.   

We will find that just as TCAS was "cool" in the Boeing cockpit when it first came out, its actual utility was far less.  We spent a lot of time looking at the fish finder at first but the novelty wore away after a while to ignoring it in most instances. 

I get it.  You don't like the mandate.  I'm not even disagreeing with you.  You asked the question, " 2) How will ADSB "help" GA? " and I was just pointing out that drone avoidance was a potential benefit.  An autonomous vehicle's version of "see and avoid" is greatly enhanced if all traffic is broadcasting their positions.  Even if the human pilots ignore the traffic screens (or never invest in them) the autonomous aircraft will be better able to avoid the humans and each other.

Even if they wanted to provide separation I'm not really sure how ATC would redirect an autonomous vehicle in real time.  I suspect that would usually be achieved by diverting the human pilot.

FWIW, I used to think I was good at seeing and avoiding.  Once I got ADS-B in it became clear to me how many planes I wasn't seeing.

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On 8/20/2018 at 12:32 PM, Marauder said:

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Garmin certainly owns the patent, although they got a lot of governmental support in Project Capstone to develop the technology. Garmin in their '301 patent clearly are leveraging other patents, presumably with appropriate permissions and licensing. My bet is Garmin will settle for a licensing fee. With the ADS-B adoption rate being as low as it is, you got to think the government will be interested in seeing this technology be deployed.

If tax payer dollars helped to develop the technology it should be in the public domain.  Having the development funded and protected by the government is the antithesis of how things are supposed to work.

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2 hours ago, cliffy said:

What the FAA gets out of it big time is removing most of the RADAR systems in the country and not having to maintain them $$$$$$$$$$.  Putting the cost of air traffic control on the users and not the government. Actually a well thought out way of transferring one part of the ATC cost to the users. 

I think what everyone is really missing is what cliffy said.  ADS-B isn't really a benefit to any of us per se.  The RADAR system the ATC system is using is straight out of world war II.  While the technology is quite adequate, proven by the fact that it is still in use today, it is severly outdated by modern technology standards.  The same reason VORs are falling our of favor being replaced with GPS, there are technologies available that provide better information, faster, and more precisely.  At some point the systems have to be updated, and no matter how much or little we like, it it costs money.  In this case, because the system chosen has a decentralized concept, puts part of the cost on us as aircraft owners.  Decentralization is the way of the future.  It's why internet and this forum we so lively use works.  Why would you design a system with a single point of failure like RADAR for the future?  Right now, if a RADAR station failed in a terminal area, it would cause upsets worldwide in the air traffic system.  What happens if an ADS-B transponder on an aircraft fails?  NOTHING!  That airplane starts making position reports just like is already described in the FARs and procedures are already in place to handle.  The FARs cover VRF with "see and avoid."  The next thing you may ask about is what about failure of an ADS-B recieving station?  Well in many areas, especially with a little altitude, you can be seen on multiple stations.  Not to mention, this being current tech, replacments are much easier to come by.  Think of having to go find some radar component that hasn't been built since the 60s to repair a RADAR station to get services back up.  Think further about the cost of having said part manufactured if a replacement can't be found.  Compare it to finding parts on our 40 and 50 year old ships.  It's a huge topic.  We could even get into including the energy costs to run RADAR stations vs passive recieving stations, but I think that's beyond the point.

Now, with all of that said, to make it more palatable, they did add weather information and the fact that we can recieve it and see other traffic is awesome.  I flew for years without it, so it is definately not 100% necessary, but just since I've had it I've managed to avoid a couple of near misses for planes I never saw otherwise.  Without it now, feels a bit strange.  My situational awareness with weather and traffic available now is lightyears ahead of when I learned to fly, and that was only 6 years ago!  You old timers that flew with Orville and Wilbur, feel free to chime in with and share your thoughts.

I hate spending money as much or more than the next guy, but it was bound to happen.  It has to happen.

My two cents.  Agree or disagree, those are my thoughts on the ADS-B debate.  Let the fight begin!  :) 

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I don't think the FAA will ever get rid of raw radar.  I don't think decommissioning of radar was ever the motivation for ADS-B, but the FAA may be able to reduce the number of sites.

Raw radar is the fall-back source of position information for NORDO aircraft, aircraft with inop transponders and, of course, UFO's.  Raw radar will be around until a new technology comes along that can do what it does.

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They are getting rid of a significant number of RADAR sites once ADSB comes on line. Its already been announced.

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9 minutes ago, cliffy said:

They are getting rid of a significant number of RADAR sites once ADSB comes on line. Its already been announced.

I looked at the list long ago.  Seemed to be just sites that had overlapping coverage.

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Hey, if anyone from Garmin is reading this...

I was on the fence as to whether I would upgrade my GNS430 to a 430W, or throw a few extra bucks at an IFD440.  This abusive lawsuit has decided me: I'm getting the Avidyne product.  I'll also not be purchasing any Garmin products in the future.

 

uAvionix is trying to do something helpful to Aviation as a whole: give GA operators an affordable means to comply with a new odious regulation.  No one who is uAvionix's target market is buying a $5k+Install Garmin ADSB-Out transponder.  Garmin won't be loosing one single unit of the Airline industry, which is where their real money is, to this product.

 

Garmin can go crawl up their own arses and die - I won't be supporting them ever again, and I'll be recommending to everyone I know to steer clear as well.

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