FlightAware Discussions

"Aircraft" showing 90k feet for over an hour

I built another PiAware and have been taking it for rides in my car to see what sort of range I can get in clear areas. I ran across something odd today, and was hoping someone had an idea what it was.
I had an “aircraft” showing 90k feet that was showing on the system for 1.5 hours while I was parked. Screenshot below:


Maybe some type of a scientific high-altitude balloon?


Isn’t it amazing the increase in aircraft positions you get when PiAware goes for a ride in the car. I saw mine increase from showing around 25 aircraft to 100+, fascinating.


BHow do you power the pi in the car? I’ve looked at using the 12v outlet but the general online feedback seems to be that it results in burned fuses, or, arguably worse, cars engulfed in flames

Well, if you use a pi zero, you can power it via a powerbank for quite a while.

Staying at exactly 90,000 ft seems a little odd. I would expect a balloon to move up and down with the heat and air currents.

@thespeedycab powering an RPI using a couple of amps at 5V from a 12V (OK 13.8V) source should not be an issue. I suspect problems are related to crappy equipment. There are many USB chargers that don’t work well as power supplies.

I’ve got one of these on order:

Takes a 12V input and feeds the pi via the GPIO pins.

That address is in the US allocation but outside the N-number range so I’d go with one or more of: avionics test; military; garbage data.


They are high altitude balloons that provide data and internet services to rural places. Loon is on of the companies

Those are fixed station calibration transponders.
I am told the way high or way low altitudes keep the FAA computers from seeing them as real aircraft.