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The Garmin GDL-50 is a portable ADS-B In Receiver. Its primary feature is to collect TIS-B Traffic and subscription-free FIS-B weather from the ADS-B system. This information is then streamed wirelessly to a Garmin Pilot, FltPlan Go, or ForeFlight app running on a portable display. This portable display is likely larger, sharper, and easier to read than any display installed in your panel. This "In" information may also be sent to compatible Garmin portable GPS Receivers/Displays.
The Traffic information is called Traffic Information Services – Broadcast (TIS-B), and it shows you the traffic ATC sees. This is a combination of all available position information, including radar and ADS-B. The GDL-50 has a dual-band ADS-B In Receiver, which means it can receive traffic sent on either the 978 UAT or 1090ES frequencies. It also generates audio alerts which direct your attention to see and avoid potential traffic conflicts.
The Weather information is called Flight Information Services – Broadcast (FIS-B), and it actually includes more than just weather. FIS-B broadcasts a range of aeronautical information products from the FAA and weather products from the National Weather Service, including:
- National NEXRAD - Continental United States Next Generation Radar
- Regional NEXRAD - Regional Next Generation Radar
- Graphical AIRMET - A user-friendly AIRMET
- Winds & Temperature Aloft
- Cloud Tops
- Center Weather Advisory
- PIREP - Pilot Reports
- SUA Status - Special Use Airspace status
- AIRMET - Airmen's Meteorological Information
- Convective SIGMET - Convective Significant Meteorological Information
- SIGMET - Significant Meteorological Information
- METAR - Aviation routine weather report
- SPECI - A Special METAR for fast-changing conditions
- D-NOTAM - Distant Notice To Airmen
- FDC-NOTAM - Flight Data Center Notice To Airmen
- TAF - Terminal Aeronautical Forecast
- AMEND - An amended TAF, for chaning conditions
The GDL-50 contains a rechargeable battery which permits up to 8 hours of operation. The GDL-50 may also be wired to ship's power for continuous operation.
Lastly, the GDL-50 is able to use its WAAS GPS and attitude sensors to provide GPS position, speed, and altitude information or to serve as a backup attitude reference for Garmin SVX displays.
As a portable ADS-B In Receiver, the GDL-50 offers tremendous value for the information it provides, and does not require installation.