UAV avionics maker Sagetech Corporation has demonstrated NATO Mode 5 encrypted interrogations/replies with a device weighing less than 6 ounces, the company said.
The MX12B is an aviation transponder that enables small unmanned aircraft to interoperate in NATO military airspace, at minimal weight-cost.
Congressional mandate requires US armed services to upgrade their aircraft with NATO Mode 5 technology, but small unmanned aircraft struggle to carry heavy legacy transponders that weigh as much as 10 lbs. The Navy has long sought a lightweight Mode 5 transponder for use in its small drones, some that weigh only 40 lbs at takeoff. Sagetech´s MX12B transponder weighs 5.3 ounces, provides full specification performance, and includes the latest FAA-certified civil modes for compliant flight in both military and civil airspace.
Mode 5 is an air-combat identification system which positively distinguishes friendly from enemy aircraft, reducing fratricide. The technology employs spread-spectrum radio transmissions that are difficult for adversaries to intercept or jam and encrypts data with keys that change every few seconds.
Sagetech Corporation provides miniature FAA/DoD-certified mil-spec avionics to UAV manufacturers. Sagetech´s aviation transponders have logged over 1 million combat flight hours.