Sagetech Transponder Facilitates Near-Space Dive Record

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A Sagetech Corporation transponder was equipped on a high-altitude balloon to facilitate collision avoidance in National Airspace during a record-breaking near-space parachute jump.

[Sagetech] products are well adapted for use in novel aircraft, both manned and unmanned, and we are pleased to add another interesting vehicle to our list of supported aircraft.

A Sagetech Corporation transponder and ground-based receiver supported Paragon Space Development Corporation® and the Stratospheric Explorer (StratEx) project during a record-breaking near-space parachute jump on Friday. The high-altitude balloon that carried Alan Eustace, a senior vice president of Google, was equipped with a Sagetech transponder which provided positional information to nearby aircraft, air traffic controllers, and StratEx mission control.

Transponders enhance air traffic control (ATC) surveillance by responding to interrogations from ATC radars and other aircraft. They are an electronic means of providing aircraft location information that facilitates situational awareness and collision avoidance. Sagetech transponders are uniquely small and lightweight, and are ideal when exceptional performance is required, for example in small unmanned air vehicles and high-altitude balloons.

“We are happy that our XP transponder provided a compact collision avoidance sensor,” commented Sagetech President Kelvin Scribner. “Our products are well adapted for use in novel aircraft, both manned and unmanned, and we are pleased to add another interesting vehicle to our list of supported aircraft.”

In addition to equipping the balloon with a Sagetech XP Mode S ADS-B Transponder, the StratEx team used Sagetech’s Clarity ADS-B Receiver on the ground at mission control to map the balloon’s progress on a handheld device. Clarity collects location-specific transmissions from ADS-B equipped aircraft and broadcasts them over Wi-Fi, offering a convenient way for mission controllers to survey local airspace and track both their own and other nearby aircraft.

“Sagetech’s products were an integral part of monitoring Alan’s progress and providing for a safe ascent through National Airspace,” said Sebastian Padilla, StratEx Program Manager and Flight Director. “On a high-altitude balloon, payload weight is of utmost importance, so the Sagetech transponder was a clear choice for providing awareness to other aircraft. The StratEx team and the FAA were comforted that we had an automatic means of making our presence known.”

While Eustace and the StratEx balloon ascended to the dive altitude at 135,890 feet, a Sagetech XP transponder broadcast its location for use by ATC, nearby aircraft, and mission control.
About Sagetech Corporation

Sagetech Corporation has been a disruptive innovator in miniature avionics since 1998. Its tiny aviation transponders transformed how small unmanned aircraft are employed by making them visible to ATC radar. Sagetech’s Clarity ADS-B receivers provide unprecedented integrated functionality for general aviation. Sagetech operates out of three facilities in Hood River, Oregon and White Salmon, Washington. For more information about Sagetech, visit, call (509) 493-2185, or email Transponder(at)SagetechCorp(dot)com.

About Paragon Space Development Corporation®
Paragon Space Development Corporation® was the prime contractor for the StratEx project. The company designed and built the life support system, integrated the systems, and managed all aspects of the operation to ensure the success of the dive. Paragon’s specialization in life support and thermal control in extreme environments played a crucial role in the StratEx project, as well as setting the precedent for future manned spaceflight endeavors. For more information about Paragon’s involvement with the project, please visit

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Todd Lester
Sagetech Corporation
+1 (509) 493-2185 Ext: 119
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