Why does flight aware want as many sites as possible?

Hello all,

I’m new to this ADB-S stuff. I recently purchased a couple of Raspberry Pi devices to play with. I had a Nooelec SDR receiver lying around and figured I’d try and marry them together and learn a little about RPI.
Some fellow ham friends were talking about setting up an ADS-B feeder site. So here it is.

What I’m curious of is why the Flightaware folks want so many of these sites up and feeding data to them? What are they doing with the data? I’m a pilot and enjoy it as much as the next guy but I don’t understand the driving attitude to get more sites up. To me it’s kind of a neat technology and teaching/learning exercise to set it all up and see it work.
Is Flightaware selling this data to the airlines for tracking purposes? Is the govt. using it to track aircraft? I doubt it’s the latter since its to easy to just turn off the transponder. This data appears to be valuable for some reason. How come the aircraft I see in my area don’t show up on Flightradar24 but it does on Flightaware?
It shows me as an Enterprise contributor or something like that. An 89.00 dollar value. What would I get get for 89.00 dollars?

Anyone know why?

The more users, in theory, the more accurate the data should be and the more coverage they get. Lots of people are into aviation and technology and love the information this provides. Other sites also reward contributors with free memberships. For example I have a weather station and submit my readings to Weather Underground and get a free premium membership for it. They compile the information from weather stations to provide a more accurate and localized forecast. That said I’m not sure if FA shares the data they get from us.

With the enterprise account, you get access to non public data. You can see flights that don’t have flight plans.

As for additional tracking stations… You can’t pickup lower flying aircraft without good line of slight, so additional receivers helps. Most stations can pickup aircraft @ 30-40k for 250-300 miles. Nothing interesting there. It’s the stations that can pickup an aircraft 3,000 ft AGL 200-200 miles away; those are the real winners.

Why I do this? I used to lease my aircraft. So, I got an email every time it took off and I could track it live. Having this in place caught some inappropriate activity.
I no longer lease it out, but having the system setup allows my wife to watch when I’m flying and when she is flying, it allows me to follow her. So, a good anxiety reduction tool for marriages.

For multilateration especially, more density is good for lower altitude tracking, even more so than with regular ADS-B since you need 4+ receivers all seeing the same aircraft, rather than just one. More receivers also helps multilateration accuracy.

Perhaps D. Baker is paying it forward. As the story goes, the concept originated to let his wife know where he was flying. They developed their flightfeeder boxes to expand their feeder sites and later released its software to the community as piaware. They get more sites to increase data quality, provide a few thousand people with in interesting hobby and stimulate a lot of Raspberry Pi sales. Maybe he enjoys putting this out there.