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In addition to receiving over 45 different government air traffic control and private datalink sources, FlightAware operates a worldwide network of ADS-B and Mode S receivers that track ADS-B or Mode S equipped aircraft flying around the globe. ADS-B equipped aircraft emit their exact position and Mode S aircraft can be tracked via multilateration (MLAT) when the signal is received by three or more receivers. FlightAware owns and operates these receivers at hundreds of airports around the world in conjunction with airport operators.
FlightAware designs and manufactures FlightFeeder, a network ADS-B receiver that receives ADS-B data and feeds the data to FlightAware's servers over any available Internet connection.
We also invite customers and professional users to connect to FlightAware's network and feed additional ADS-B data from their receivers using the methods described below. ADS-B data contributed is made available on FlightAware's free web site and mobile apps.
For under USD$100 / EUR€80, build a Raspberry Pi with a USB ADS-B receiver that can run dump1090 and PiAware. View data locally or via FlightAware Users that share data with FlightAware automatically qualify for a free upgrade to an Enterprise Account.
Professional users without an existing receiver but with a suitable facility (e.g., hangar, office, home antenna mast) with clear line of sight to the sky are eligible for no-charge FlightFeeder that FlightAware provides. FlightAware's equipment can be installed virtually anywhere; all you need to provide is power (110-240V), Internet access (via Ethernet), and installation. Data collected is automatically integrated with any of your FlightAware services.
PiAware users can simultaneously use data from their Raspberry Pi running dump1090 and also send flight data to FlightAware via PiAware. Users that share data with FlightAware automatically qualify for a free upgrade to an Enterprise Account.
PlanePlotter is a Windows program that supports a wide variety of ADS-B receivers including Kinetic SBS-1 and SBS-3, AirNav Systems RadarBox, Mode-S Beast, RTL SDR dongles, RxControl Mode-S receiver, PlaneGadget Radar, miniADSB, and microADSB. In addition to receiving, processing, and displaying real-time data from ADS-B receivers, PlanePlotter can share data with the PlanePlotter network and third parties such as FlightAware.
PlanePlotter users can simultaneously use the PlanePlotter application to track flights via a receiver, share bidirectionally with the PlanePlotter private network, and send flight data to FlightAware.
Radarcape devices can connect directly to FlightAware without having to run a desktop application on your PC. Configure your Radarcape via the web interface to feed directly to FlightAware.
Why share with FlightAware?
With over 50 non-ADS-B data sources and over ten million monthly users, FlightAware is the world's largest aggregator and free source of live flight tracking and flight data. If you have ADS-B data or are interested in receiving it, FlightAware is the best partner for sharing your data with the world and being recognized for your contribution. FlightAware will aggregate your positions with dozens of available sources to share with millions of users.
As a thank you from FlightAware, users sending ADS-B data receive the following:
Live data on flightaware.com (subject to standard data processing delay of up to two minutes)
Access to up-to-the-second live data received by the local device (accessible from the stats page with a local network connection)
Data from local device highlighted on FlightAware track logs
Aircraft know their location based on GPS or similar technology and their altitude based on a pressure altimeter. Aircraft with an ADS-B transponder broadcast their identification and this three dimensional position (latitude, longitude, altitude) on 1090MHz or 978MHz, which can be received by a radio within line of sight of the aircraft (a maximum of 300mi / 480km at cruise). Receivers around the world send this data over a real-time connection to FlightAware, which aggregates the data and provides flight tracking data and interfaces. Approximately 70% of airliners around the world and 10% of private jets currently have ADS-B, whereas nearly 100% have Mode S.
Where are new sites needed?
New sites all around the world are beneficial and data will be used from any contributing facility. Even in places where coverage exists already, more redundancy and overlapping coverage results in significantly better low-altitude coverage and coverage reliability. Please view our Coverage Map to see the extent of coverage in your area. Major metropolitan areas that currently lack significant coverage include:
China (except Bejing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Hong Kong)