As the FAAs ADS-B network stands up, anyone with an appropriate receiver can obtain its free traffic and weather information services, TIS-B and FIS-B, available via ADS-B IN. Mix in some software, and we can display the results on a tablets moving map using only a portable receiver, often resulting in better situational awareness than when relying only on whats in the panel.
In the foreseeable future, its likely the less-expensive, crisper and higher-resolution displays of tablets or other consumer devices running appropriate software will continue to be the way most ADS-B IN data is provided to GA cockpits, using either portable or installed receivers. And as this article details, manufacturers of certified ADS-B OUT avionics are climbing aboard by adding wireless capabilities to their products to display the ADS-B IN data. Its a smart move by manufacturers, and a decent deal for many operators, especially if the TIS-B solution includes the mix of traffic information generated by ADS-B systems using both 978 UAT and 1090ES receivers.
Much of the hardware receiving the ADS-B IN data-whether a portable unit, or certified and installed-works only with specific tablets and/or applications. For example, the only portable ADS-B IN solution that works with ForeFlight is Appareos Stratus/Stratus 2, while Garmins Pilot app is required for the companys GDL-series products capable of receiving FIS-B and TIS-B. As the editorial on page 2 discusses in greater detail, standardization is both appropriate and overdue.