Introducing Stratus: Portable ADS-B Weather for ForeFlight Mobile

Introducing Stratus

We’d like to introduce you to Stratus, a new high-performance, battery powered, portable, wire-free ADS-B weather receiver designed to work hand in glove with ForeFlight Mobile.  Stratus is the result of a collaboration between Appareo Systems, ForeFlight, and Sporty’s.

We believe that Stratus is best-in-class when it comes to portable ADS-B weather receivers, and we’re delighted to announce that Stratus support will land with ForeFlight Mobile 4.5, available by April 23.

Stratus uses the ADS-B weather network, so it does not require any additional subscription for in-flight weather services. It is a great option for owner-flown aircraft, flight schools, renters, flying clubs, and even corporate flight departments looking for less expensive in-flight weather options that don’t require retrofitting their aircraft. Even if your aircraft already has in-panel in-flight weather support, Stratus is an inexpensive backup that could come in handy when needed, and is portable between aircraft.

The first time you fly with a fully-charged Stratus is a thrill.  Bring it into your plane, turn it on, don’t connect any wires, and then see the green ADS-B signal indicator light up, indicating receipt of ADS-B transmissions.

Stratus costs $799 and is available for pre-order from Sporty’s at http://www.sportys.com/stratus.

Details

Stratus includes an internal battery that will provide power for up to eight hours; a high-gain, high-performance internal antenna that provides reception in most cockpits without the need for the optional external antenna; and is tested to DO160F standards for magnetic and altitude effects.

Stratus broadcasts weather and other information to the iPad via the Stratus WiFi network, allowing everyone in the aircraft running ForeFlight Mobile to view real-time weather and information as it is received from ADS-B ground stations. Some feature highlights:

  • Compact design with a rugged enclosure measuring 5.8″ x 4.2″ x 1.1″.
  • Internal antenna for wire-free operation in most cockpits.
  • Long battery life, up to 8 hours, and recharges via a standard Micro USB cable.
  • Active WAAS GPS for improved position information and support for fast aircraft speeds.
  • LED indicators with ambient light sensors for battery health, power, and ADS-B station reception.
  • Tested to DO160F for magnetic effect and altitude, ESD, and vibration tested.
  • iPad 2 or iPad 3 strongly recommend.

Stratus is tightly integrated with ForeFlight Mobile, providing national (continental USA) and high-resolution regional NEXRAD radar, METARs, TAFs, winds aloft, AIRMETS/SIGMETS, PIREPS, NOTAMs, and TFRs.

ForeFlight customers will find the transition from using ForeFlight on the ground for pre-flight weather analysis to in-flight weather monitoring a seamless one. The only change is that data sourced from Stratus will include an “ADS-B” label, indicating the source of the data is from the ADS-B system.

Adding to the experience is deep integration between Stratus and ForeFlight Mobile, like the ability to control the brightness of the three Stratus LED indicators from within ForeFlight, a satellite status indicator for the Stratus’ on-board WAAS GPS, ADS-B ground station signal information, ages for both text and radar products, Stratus power options, and battery levels.

Here’s a short video introduction to Stratus, produced by Sporty’s.

Stratus at Sun ‘n Fun

The Stratus will be on display at these three locations during Sun ‘n Fun:

  • ForeFlight Booth C-92
  • Sporty’s Booth C-90
  • Appareo Systems Booth A-080

ADS-B and Coverage Information

The ADS-B system is a network of transceivers commissioned by the FAA. The ADS-B system broadcasts two classes of information, referred to as TIS-B (for traffic) and FIS-B (for weather and flight information). Stratus supports receipt of the FIS-B, which includes a range of weather and flight related information.

If you fly within any of the blue areas below, you will be able to enjoy Stratus for in-flight weather information, including national NEXRAD, high-resolution regional NEXRAD, AIRMETS and SIGMETS, TFRs, METARs, TAFs, Winds Aloft, PIREPs, and NOTAMs. In our flight testing, we were able to receive ADS-B ground stations in fringe areas outside the locations depicted below when using Stratus’ optional external antenna, especially at cruise altitudes.

The FAA is quickly building out the ADS-B system, and coverage may be available in your area in the near future. We will update the coverage map as more tower location information is made available.

Additional Stratus Information

Additional information is available at:

About Appareo

Appareo is a recognized leader in the custom development and manufacture of low-cost innovative avionic solutions for original equipment manufacturers. Through the creative application of cutting-edge technologies, Appareo creates complex end-to-end solutions that include both airborne and ground station components. Appareo offers turn-key services from product conceptualization through attainment of supplemental type certificate. In addition, the company is an accredited FAA Parts Manufacturing facility. Appareo is based in Fargo, N.D. Visit Appareo on the web at http://www.appareo.com
About Sporty’s
Now in its 51st year, Sporty’s has grown from a one-man operation launched by Hal Shevers to the world’s largest pilot shop and an iconic general aviation brand. Sporty’s operations extend to airport management, avionics installation and repair, aircraft maintenance, a residential airport community, new aircraft sales and flight training, including for the University of Cincinnati’s professional pilot program. Located at Clermont County/Sporty’s Airport (I69), Sporty’s is philanthropically dedicated to expanding the general aviation community with both pilots and skilled technicians.