FlightAware Data Source Designation

Hey Everyone:

Long tine ADS-B system architecture, concept of operations, and data analyst here. My question is specific to how FlightAware designates the source of a particular set of data associated with a tracked flight. Does the system make any distinction between data received from a 1090MHz equipped aircraft and a 978MHz equipped aircraft. The data source in the flight track data log is either an FAA provided surveillance feed or “FlightAware ADS-B”. When “FlightAware ADS-B” is listed as the source, does that indicate that the signal was transmitted on 1090MHz or 979MHz, or does the system designate the latter as I hope it does and which would be appropriate as “UAT”?

I’m thinking they don’t make the distinction, which would be a disappointment in my humble opinion. Knowing the specific frequency protocols each line of data was received through would be incredibly useful in determining if my feeder setup is in need of adjustment or not. Plus, the implementation of such a feature would literally be data processing 101 level stuff, and when it comes to this type of high fidelity massive volume data analysis, if there’s an opportunity to enrichen the quality and granularity of your data, it’s never a bad idea to integrate it into the system.

I have a running laundry list of “Up Your Game” feature requests the I periodically pester the help desk folks with, not because I like to complain, find faults, or have some weird desire to always move the proverbial goal posts, not at all. I hate been working with FlightAware data and products for so long, I want the services and values they offer to be as close to their greatest potential possible! Don’t leave a single feature or function out of the development plan, leave nothing to want.

Anyway, look forward to engaging on here, ADS-B was my professional focus for nearly a decade, so I want to learn from others and maybe contribute what I know to everyone else.

Pete L.
Airport Manager
Eastport Municipal Airport (KEPM)


There are separate source descriptions for 978 and 1090. Here is an example: Flight Track Log ✈ N154SH 16-Jan-2024 (30CL-KCPM) - FlightAware

(note that this is made somewhat more complicated by the existence of ADS-R, and data fusing – the tracklogs won’t give you the full picture for simplicity, but we do have much more detailed data behind the scenes including the original data source for each element of data)

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