The Wikipedia link was the ACARS definition. FlightAware has a glitch that will not allow you to see more of my post. It takes you to the wikipedia website when you click on "More".
The link to get the software is:
ACARS transmits on 131.55 Mhz in USA. Not all planes have this system, but I have heard a lot of Delta and executive jet general aviation flights with it in past week.
ACARS packets are 2400 baud. They can be received on 131.55 Mhz VHF Air Band in the US on AM mode. Other countries use differ VHF frequencies.
If not familiar with digital communications, this project will take better part of a day before you get it installed and tweaked just right.
ACARS messages are generally for route and aircraft system info. Info is sent back to airliner HQ's for example. Its coded, but Flight Number and License are clearly shown.
The software will access a Netherlands based server, and download a picture of the actual aircraft when a pa
Here we are 51 years after Commander Capenter's historic flight. Manned space craft still have re-entry and rendezvous glitches. See a recount of a Soyuz re-entry with an American astronaut in 2008:
"There was an elephant in the room, and it was sitting on their chests. For astronauts Yuri Malenchenko of Russia, Peggy Whitson of the United States, and Yi So-yeon of South Korea, that’s about how it felt on Saturday, April 19, 2008, as the trio endured more than eight Gs during reentry from orbit. At 25 times the speed of sound, their Soyuz capsule plowed bluntly into the upper reaches of the atmosphere like a stone into water. The air pushed back, slowing the vehicle and pressing the occupants steadily harder into their seats. Meanwhile, air molecules scraped across the exterior of the Soyuz and heated it to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit."
Space flight is IFR all the way. Its a wonder there aren't more glitches than there are.
God Speed Commander Capenter