FlightAware Discussions

FA ADSB Worldwide Coverage Map

I was looking at FA’s world wide coverage map published on their website, and I’m puzzled at the patterns that emerge over the oceans. Nearly perfectly aligned columns of diamonds at regular intervals that don’t appear to get nearly as much traffic.

Here’s a screengrab of that map:

Now I’m curious… I wonder if the published routes really create this pattern, or is there some other phenomenon or reason it appears?

1 Like

It is a pretty cool pattern and it’s real! It is due to the North Atlantic Tracks system (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Atlantic_Tracks) which constructs transatlantic routes using different combinations of fixed waypoints depending on what the jetstream does - those waypoints are the common points that make up the top/bottom points of each diamond.

There’s another system (PACOTS) that produces a similar, less pronounced, effect over the Pacific.

5 Likes

They like using “whole degree” waypoints: https://skyvector.com

Search in the little box: 4840n

Or check this flight: https://flightaware.com/live/flight/UAL122
It has a small section on the bottom right with the route:

JCOBY3 SWANN BROSS J42 RBV LLUND BAYYS PUT J42 BOS J55 ENE J573 SEAER J573 EBONY JOOPY 4900N/05000W 5100N/04000W 5200N/03000W 5300N/02000W MALOT GISTI BANBA UP2 BEDEK BEDEK1H

You can input that into the skyvector flight plan to have a look at it.
You’ll notice the longitude in steps of 10 degrees while the latitude changes in 1 degree steps.
That’s what creating the pattern.

I’m not sure it’s only because of the northatlantic track system.
Pretty sure even traffic not on the track system must use those waypoints in 1 degree latitutde steps and 10 degree longtitude steps.

2 Likes