What Happens to my Data


With technology nowadays many people use it but have no idea what actually happens. I am a little in the dark about ADS-B and mlat tracking.

So, my ADS-B strick receives data from the antenna, the Pi then does something with it, I assume SkyView uses data before it gets sent to FA - or does it? After data gets sent to FA what happens then?, I think I get some back, probably mlat as my understanding is that mlat needs data from 3 or more stations before it is of use.

I’m guessing the mlat data has been processed by FA using some of my original data,

Most of this is guessing, technology is brilliant but so much happens in the background that we take for granted.




Four or more, but also some distance apart.

It’s in the ‘big bowl’, mixed with the others.

If you are concerned about privacy, make sure to change the Precision on Coverage Map setting, accessible from your FA page, gear setting icon.


Your data is integrated with all of FlightAware’s other data feeds such as those from air traffic control agencies and airlines. It is used for tracking and also determining departure and arrival times. You are given credit on the “track log” on the flightaware.com flight pages when a specific position you contributed is used on the web site.


Skyview makes a distinction between three types:
Mode-S are planes without GPS. These are usually old planes before GPS was around.

ADSB are planes that have GPS and are transmitting that information.

MLAT are Mode-S planes information that is sent to FlightAware that have their location estimated based on information from multiple nearby sites. FlightAware send the MLAT estimated position results back to feeder sites and so you can see them on your SkyView map.
MLAT = estimated position of Mode-S planes

The SkyView sidebar is color coded with the types.

SkyView uses data before it gets sent to FA - or does it?

Yes, both mode-S and ADSB messages are sent to FlightAware. MLAT is sent back to feeder sites. The MLAT processing needs to have mode-S from multiple sites. Think of it as a form of triangulation.

After data gets sent to FA what happens then?

See what Eric said.


No, not concerned with security, seen no reason to be so.

Thanks for reply.



Thank you David, clearly explained. Excellent.

Great forum and friendly answers.