A transponder is an electronic device that produces a response when it receives a radio-frequency interrogation. It is used to broadcast the position of the aircraft in order to make the ATC (air traffic control) aware of the location of the platform so they can manage the airspace properly.
Veronte is fully compatible with Sagetech transponders, permitting to configure it from the user interface. Configurable parameters are displayed on the Transponder configuration panel.
The Squawk code is the identifier that the ATC gives to the aircraft. The controller communicates to the pilot via radio and asks him to set his transponder to a certain code, so the controller can then identify the aircraft on his screen and monitor its position and trajectory. This code is also used as a mean of communicating a certain situation to the ATC, for example, 7500 means that the aircraft is being hijacked, 7600 is radio failure, 1200 series (1200, 1201, 1202) are used to communicate a certain status being on VFR flight.
Regarding the mode, Veronte Pipe allows the use of 4 different transponder status:
- Off: the transponder is not operating. It doesn’t send position information.
- Standby: mode used when the aircraft is on the ground. The information sent by the transponder is limited, so the controller screen doesn’t get crowded with all the possible data of an airplane, because at an airport there are several aircraft close together.
- On: the transponder broadcast the position of the airplane, but not the altitude. The height information is provided to the controller by asking the pilot via radio.
- Alt: In this case, the transponder communicates the aircraft position and altitude to the ATC.
Finally, the option ident is used to convey an extra bit on the message sent to the ATC when the transponder is interrogated. This bit highlights the aircraft icon on the controller screen, so he can quickly identify the aircraft that is being interrogated.