No solutions are currently available that meet the new performance standards. Equipment options are not expected until late 2011, if not later.
As of the date of this posting, there are no Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) units available that meet the performance standards of TSO-C166b. However, many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are working towards getting their GPSs to meet the requirements of ADS-B Out.
This raises another issue to be aware of: the FAA has made it crystal clear that for an aircraft to be ADS-B Out certified, it will need to be completed either by a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) or OEM Type Certificate (TC). As the industry adjusts to the new requirements and more of these systems can be analyzed, additional installation options will be available, such as FAA Field Approval.
The entire aviation industry is working hard to understand the subject of ADS-B. There are many questions that remain without clear answers and it will be a challenge for everyone to become compliant.
For equipment requirements, certification processes, how ADS-B works, compliance for older aircraft, and estimated manufacturer Technical Standard Order (TSO) authorization dates, read "Straight Talk About ADS-B" at www.DuncanAviation.aero/straighttalk.
For a deeper discusion about system benefits, FMS compatibility and other subjects important to ADS-B, read "Straight Talk About ADS-B: Critical Factors & Considerations For Business Aircraft" in the Summer 2011 Duncan Debrief.
Mark Winter serves as the Satellite Avionics Manager for the Houston, Texas avionics shop, specializing in avionics modification and full line maintenance. He began working in aviation in 1988.