Universal Access Transceiver Beacon Radio (UBR)

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Universal Access Transceiver Beacon Radio (UBR) ensures that small aircraft and unmanned aerial systems would have the same level of situational awareness in the air as big planes. The Beacon Radio incorporates Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) technology, which MITRE helped develop over the past 17 years.

ADS-B systems enable airplanes to transmit information about their flight—speed, location, and altitude—to other aircraft and air traffic control centers. It is already in use in larger aircraft; however, commercial-grade ADS-B avionics are large, heavy, and costly, and require aircraft electrical systems, making them impractical for use in many smaller aircraft.

To help fill the gap in the market, MITRE researchers developed a small, low-cost, lightweight, low-power device that would benefit users from both the government and public. Our prototype digital radio system is about the size of a smartphone, weighs 9.5 ounces, and can operate in transmit only mode for more than 12 hours on AA batter­ies.


The UBR technology has the potential to improve visual acquisition of small unmanned aircraft systems, general aviation aircraft without engine-generated electrical systems, hang gliders, and balloons operating in visual meteorological conditions in low-altitude airspace.


Due to its size, UBR can be used on a variety of small aircraft with space constraints for devices. UBR maintains the standards and capabilities that allow it to communicate in the same manner as UAT at considerably less expense.

MITRE is offering intellectual property licenses for the UBR technology to interested U.S.-based companies on a non-exclusive basis.

To discuss licensing or collaboration activities, please contact MITRE's TTO.