FlightAware Discussions

Space-based ADS-B data for long-distance flights

Long distance direct flights over wide-open ocean expanses usually show an estimated position for a large extent of the journey due to being out of range of the tens of thousands of land-based ADS-B receivers that feed FlightAware and other such sites.

When out of range, the estimated position plotted on-screen generally follows the great circle route from where the aircraft was last seen to the next time it is picked up. This is often many thousands of kilometres away. Additionally, this line often deviates significantly from the original filed flight plan, as seen in this example …

Now that the Aireon space-based ADS-B satellite receiver system is operational and feeding position data for aircraft worldwide multiple times per minute, has any thought been given to perhaps augmenting the public flight data with, say, one position per hour on these long-distance flights so as to at least give a slightly more accurate track?

I fully understand that having spent billions on this satellite system, there is no desire to give all of the data away for free, but maybe there is a way to release a very small part of it without compromising the overall system?


I would add that this data could be integrated only for past flights and selected few routes. This don’t have to be live feed.

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Another example.

This flight went directly over the South Pole but the map shows otherwise simply because 90% of the track is only estimated.

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That flight (and three more) from One More Orbit circumpolar speed record challenge was the cause why I renew my interest in ADS-B satellite data :grinning:.

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