In dump1090 what's the criteria for displaying tail #s etc?


#1

Being in Topeka, KS, I see a lot of KC-135 traffic in and out of KFOE where the KS Coyote’s air refueling group is based.

They frequently have an ident of WYLIEnn – which makes sense.

Here, they’re generally squawking 1200, which makes sense for touch-and-go & etc. But when I select that line in dump1090, only the ICAO24 address is shown (for example AE065C)

If I click on flightware, it takes me to airframes.org, where I can lookup that this is KC-135 tail number 59-1507. Why doesn’t dump1090 manage that? And why doesn’t Flightaware manage it instead of having me type it in and do the lookup manually at airframes.org?

Finally, why do I never see positions, (especially mlat positions) on VFR (squawking 1200) flights? In the case of flights in and out of KFOE, I know there are several PiAware users in the immediate area who have far better numbers than I do, and I would think mlat would be easy. Is it that the system just doesn’t do it for VFR flights?

Similarly, private aircraft VFR in and out of KTOP which is an entire 3 miles from me never have positions. Same thing?

Thanks. In attempting to work on getting my numbers up, I’ve been spending more time looking at dump1090 and this is probably the first of a series of dumb questions.

Rick


#2

It looks like you are having similar idea to others. Check out feature requests.
feature-requests/

Here, they’re generally squawking 1200, which makes sense for touch-and-go & etc. But when I select that line in dump1090, only the ICAO24 address is shown (for example AE065C)

Planes don’t send their tail number in the transponder messages. Some planes do set their Ident to their tail number.
There is a way to mathematically compute the ICAO24 to tail number and this is a requested feature that in our to-do list.

If I click on flightware, it takes me to airframes.org, where I can lookup that this is KC-135 tail number 59-1507. Why doesn’t dump1090 manage that? And why doesn’t Flightaware
manage it instead of having me type it in and do the lookup manually at airframes.org?

Yup. Another feature on our to-do list.

Finally, why do I never see positions, (especially mlat positions) on VFR (squawking 1200) flights? In the case of flights in and out of KFOE, I know there are several PiAware users in the >> immediate area who have far better numbers than I do, and I would think mlat would be easy. Is it that the system just doesn’t do it for VFR flights?

By default we only show planes flying with a flight plan. You can go into your account options to show “position-only flights” and see VFR planes.
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#3

[quote=“david.baker”]There is a way to mathematically compute the ICAO24 to tail number and this is a requested feature that in our to-do list.
[/quote]

This is already done for civil US aircraft and a few other cases where there is a predictable mapping, but there are many cases where there is no predictable mapping.


#4

On the Dump1090 side?


#5

Yes: github.com/flightaware/dump1090 … rations.js


#6

David,

Let me ask that again… I have had “position only fights” enabled for over a year. Despite that, I — never — see positions for VFR flights squawking 1200, especially the military (mostly tanker) flights in and out of KFOE.

I certainly understand that they aren’t broadcasting their position. Got that. What I’m asking is,does Flightaware compute mlats for VFR flights?

If you do, I wonder why these -never- show a position.


#7

How would one 1200 flight be distinguished from another using Mode A/C? The transponder only transmits Squwark and altitude (if Mode C). Only discrete transponder codes are easy to track in Mode A/C(really just Mode C).
Only mode S, ES and UAT would work.

FYI, In UAT 978Mhz I see 1200 flights all of the time.


#8

We don’t create position-only flights from mlat positions.


#9

Yes, but I’m specifically asking about vfr flights that -have- unique ID’s being transmitted which coorespond to specific planes.

The answer to my question, from an FA staffer is below. They don’t do mlat’s for flights that don’t have IFR flight plans.

Too bad. Oh well.


#10

RickBoatright, I noticed that you are looking at military flights. Tankers and the like.

It is entirely possible that they are not transmitting the information that you are looking for, on purpose.

The military’s specs for what they are required to transmit for public consumption, is very different than that of civilian aircraft, like commercial aircraft and single-engine private aircraft, like a Cesna 172 or Piper Cherokee 140 or 180.

It might be for these reasons that you can’t see what you are looking for, but not a guaranteed answer. If you know anyone at the base, that you can speak to, you might get your definitive answer from them as to why you can’t see what you’re looking for.


#11

David,

I’ve got it covered now…

Military flights frequently have their ICAO 24 code and an assigned squawk (bot not always the latter.)

The solution is to build a json database of the military aircraft I see with their tail numbers and types from airframes.org since FA doesn’t bother to look those up.

Simple enough, and now most days I have some number of planes out of FOE or Tinker or etc… I add to the json file as I encounter new ones.