Positionless Data


Is there any consideration being given to using/displaying positionless data? For example, my plane has a Mode S transponder, but not ADS-B out (yet). I can tell when my antenna is picking up my aircraft, but not specifically where the plane is. However, I do know that it is somewhere within the coverage range of my station, so I know the general position. If not flying IFR, this is as good as the positioning will get.

Any thoughts to making this data available? (i.e. which station(s) can currently, or in the past, see the aircraft)?



Your planes will be seen if MLAT technology is start working in the future…
To make it work, 4 or more stations are needed within 50-100 nm…
Details of MLAT can be found in wikipedia or FR24 website…


I know about MLAT, but I am feeding via an RTL dongle. For MLAT support on FlightAware, there needs to be several FlightAware hardware units in the vicinity.

My point is that even without this data, the “positionless” information could be useful.


We currently receive and process mode S data to figure out various things, but we don’t currently display the approximate position based on a receiver’s location. It’s something we’re considering though.


OK. I’m thinking it could be really useful for us General Aviation folks, or possibly to get a vague idea of where “blocked” aircraft might be.

I assume that all of the FAA/NBAA “blocking” lists are not going to apply to ADS-B data, right?


See this story:

Aircraft Tail Blocking Complicated by ADS-B OUT Systems

“However, both companies said they redact any registration information about blocked aircraft coming from ADS-B receivers or elsewhere.”

“Though big-player flight trackers are working with the industry and complying with block requests, there are other ways of obtaining this information, such as multilateration, according to FlightAware CEO Daniel Baker. There is also free PlanePlotter software that allows users to view information about aircraft movements around the world using data from hobbyists’ ADS-B receivers, multilateration and radar feeds, complicating tail-blocking efforts as more countries install multilateration systems or require aircraft to equip with ADS-B OUT.”

ainonline.com/aviation-news/ … ut-systems


Are organizations like FlightAware legally required to redact this data? I’m thinking not, but rather they just want to remain “in good graces” with the governments who are providing radar data feeds.

I see where FlightAware is coming from here, but this sort of makes me want to reconsider feeding FlightAware my data. I am sending them completely un-filtered data, but in exchange I get back only the “filtered” data. Seems like a double-standard.

Anyhow, PlanePlotter shows all ADS-B data.

Dbaker - can you clarify the rationale here?



It is not a legal requirement yet and FlightAware is looking to keep it that way. The public redistribution interface is unrelated to the plans we have for ADS-B feeder sites. However, everything has be developed and we’re starting with the existing FlightAware platform that was built before ADS-B was prevalent and before third party feeder sites existed.


The person did another article about it today.

Blocking Aircraft Still Possible
ainonline.com/aviation-news/ … l-possible


Yep. Thanks.

I’ve found that PlanePlotter shows everything Military, civilian, you name it.

Additionally FlightRadar24 seems to show most aircraft, but the ones that are blocked still show their position but the registrations show “blocked”. That’s more useful as a plane-spotter.

I’m using a $15 RTL dongle to receive Mode S / ADS-B. I tracked a DOJ helicopter making crazy patterns all over a nearby suburb a few days ago. I can see why they don’t want this info out there, but realistically, using this $15 dongle, cross referenced with the FAA aircraft registration database, it would be trivial to create a portable “law enforcement aircraft” detector.

They don’t even have to be using ADS-B. If you know the Mode S code for the aircraft (which is in the FAA database), you can get a rough idea how close they are based on signal strength.