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FR24
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by FR24 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:43 am

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Re: FlightRadar24 MLAT test in SA

Unread post by ppakotze » Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:33 pm

Whoo hoo will show up the mode-S only transmissions on flightradar.
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by ppakotze » Wed May 06, 2015 10:23 am

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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by ppakotze » Tue May 12, 2015 12:51 pm

Now with MLAT support for FACT, one can now see online non ADSB traffic such as king airs taxying on the runway.

MLAT coverage drops of soon as you move further away from Cape Town so if you live in Ceres or further afield and have a broadband internet connection check out how easy it is to host the equipment.

Regards
P.
Last edited by ppakotze on Tue May 12, 2015 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by Darren » Tue May 12, 2015 2:08 pm

I heard rumours that concerns about ZS-RSA's visibility to ADS-B receivers were raised to the SAAF, but the response was that as the broadcast was a legal requirement in many parts of the world ZS-RSA turning off of the system was impossible. While you could arguably get FR24 and others to block the aircraft, that doesn't stop people from receiving and reporting on it themselves.

This is especially true now that FR24 and PlanePlotter have effective MLAT support, so that aircraft can be tracked even when not transmitting their location over ADS-B. Granted, the issue of ZS-RSA being trackable hasn't yet reached the visibility of Parliament's MPs or the upper levels of the ANC yet. I hope it never does, our government's history on knee-jerk reactions to small problems is not a good one.

The laws in SA around receiving radio bands like 1090MHz are archaic and ludicrous, especially now that cheap multi-band tuners (like DVB sticks) are so easily available, but I would advise anyone who provides data to FR24 and others to be cautious about advertising it because the penalties can be extremely severe. Provided you don't admit to listening in and provided FR24 and the other sites don't reveal your exact location to authorities, you likely won't be caught. Just understand that if you are caught, the authorities can throw the book at you.
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by ppakotze » Tue May 12, 2015 8:30 pm

Just airborne out of Entebbe according to FlightRadar24 website, and no no receiver in SA can receive that far, some local Ugandan must be hosting a receiver.

REgards
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by Darren » Tue May 12, 2015 9:28 pm

There are people feeding data to FR24 from a bunch of other African countries. The coverage in Kenya, for instance, looks decent.

Again, all you need to start feeding data is a DVB-T dongle that costs a couple of hundred bucks, an internet connection and a computer you can leave running. You can even run it off something like a Raspberry Pi, which costs about R500. The barrier to entry is very low.
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by ppakotze » Wed May 13, 2015 7:26 am

FR24 uses a slight variant of something called the mode-S beast, they have a GPS unit built in to allow time stamping of mode-S packets which enables MLAT. I don't know if the USB dongles have solution which supports time stamping. With only 30% of the traffic in SA having ADSB-B or mode S with extended squitter, MLAT can cover probably 30 to 40% more traffic (Mangos and others not doing ADSB). The remaining spam cans with traditional mode A/C will probably stay invisble unless ATNS starts feeding to FR24.

One advantage of what FR24 is offering is that they provide and courier the equipment to you free of charge.

Or so I hear...
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by Darren » Wed May 13, 2015 11:38 am

MLAT does not require specialised hardware, only an accurate enough clock (achievable with high-quality NTP or better yet a GPS module) and a high enough refresh rate. It's quite possible to use the USB dongles to send decent-quality MLAT packets when hooked up to a good local NTP server and other software such as PlanePlotter explicitly allows it after first verifying your data feed.

The reason FR24 has elected to limit MLAT to their own supplied hardware only is just a matter of making it easier to control the quality of the data coming in and reducing the need to build in extra filters to handle anomalies. There is, I understand, some controversy over this, as the hardware they use is pretty much identical to the Mode-S Beast and uses the same firmware yet they won't accept MLAT data from you if you went and bought your own.

But I get it, FR24's scale makes data quality important and the above issue is mitigated somewhat by the free equipment they'll supply if you're in an area that needs coverage. Just be aware that some parts of SA are already very well-covered, so your requests for free FR24 boxes will be denied.
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by opsmike » Wed May 13, 2015 11:47 am

Darren wrote:I heard rumours that concerns about ZS-RSA's visibility to ADS-B receivers were raised to the SAAF, but the response was that as the broadcast was a legal requirement in many parts of the world ZS-RSA turning off of the system was impossible. While you could arguably get FR24 and others to block the aircraft, that doesn't stop people from receiving and reporting on it themselves.

This is especially true now that FR24 and PlanePlotter have effective MLAT support, so that aircraft can be tracked even when not transmitting their location over ADS-B. Granted, the issue of ZS-RSA being trackable hasn't yet reached the visibility of Parliament's MPs or the upper levels of the ANC yet. I hope it never does, our government's history on knee-jerk reactions to small problems is not a good one.

The laws in SA around receiving radio bands like 1090MHz are archaic and ludicrous, especially now that cheap multi-band tuners (like DVB sticks) are so easily available, but I would advise anyone who provides data to FR24 and others to be cautious about advertising it because the penalties can be extremely severe. Provided you don't admit to listening in and provided FR24 and the other sites don't reveal your exact location to authorities, you likely won't be caught. Just understand that if you are caught, the authorities can throw the book at you.
If they are worried imagine the Saudi Air Force, their air tanker was on FR24 this morning circling just north of Yemen
Airports are where it happens
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by Darren » Wed May 13, 2015 1:29 pm

opsmike wrote: If they are worried imagine the Saudi Air Force, their air tanker was on FR24 this morning circling just north of Yemen
Hah, surprised they haven't applied to have their aircraft blocked yet.

I've spent a lot of time watching various military aircraft on FR24 and PP, especially the MLAT tracks. It's fascinating what you can see, including the occasional aerial refuelling link-up where both the tanker and the receiving fighter are visible. The orbits by the BACN-equipped planes over Afghanistan were interesting too.

Anyway, the fact remains that this sort of tracking will get easier and easier as the cost of SDR solutions like the RTL USB sticks keeps plummeting and the software keeps improving. Governments will just have to accept the increased visibility and plan for it. And it'll still always be possible to turn off your transponder during combat missions over enemy territory.
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by LegalEagle » Thu May 14, 2015 8:46 am

Saw the AHRLAC having some fun this morning.
IMG_1550.PNG
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by opsmike » Thu May 14, 2015 9:18 am

I see the Saudi tanker is painting again Moon61 just north of Yemen
Airports are where it happens
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by LegalEagle » Mon May 18, 2015 3:58 pm

Any idea what this Global Express is doing in Afghanistan flying in circles?
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Re: FlightRadar24

Unread post by Darren » Mon May 18, 2015 4:00 pm

LegalEagle wrote:Any idea what this Global Express is doing in Afghanistan flying in circles?
BACN, battlefield airborne communications node.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlefiel ... tions_Node

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