FAA Requiring All Flights to Have GPS Tracking System by 2020
April 15, 2014 1:25 PM
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It will fill in the spots radar can't reach
After a recent
missing Malaysian Airlines flight
, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has decided to mandate GPS-based aircraft tracking on planes.
, the FAA will require that all planes have a GPS tracking system called Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) radio network by 2020.
ADS-B allows controllers to monitor an aircraft using GPS satellite tracking instead of current ground-based radar. The problem with radar is that it doesn't cover some spots around the world, and ADS-B will make sure those particular spots are accounted for (as well as everywhere else around the globe).
Currently, only 100 of the 230 air traffic facilities across the country use ADS-B. But by 2020, all will be onboard. The U.S. already has the ground stations in place for their use, so now it's just a matter of equipping planes with the system.
In addition to tracking planes, the new system will also provide pilots with more accurate, real time information, like weather, when in flight.
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RE: Old news.
4/16/2014 6:51:46 PM
How would a mere 93,000 flight transmitting VERY LITTLE information "saturate the entire satellite network with GPS coordinates alone"?
Let's do some SIMPLE math shall we? Let's say each plane updates its position once a minute. That would only take a transmission (even with some error checking, ID number, handshake, etc.) of perhaps 128 bytes. If you multiply that by all those 93,000 flight you're only talking about 12 megs of data for ALL flights to be captured every minute. Do you realize that simply taking a few pictures on your ONE cell phone and sending them to grandma can use much more data than that?
Do you have ANY idea how much data is being pushed up to, for example, even ONE of the DirectTV satellites to provide subscribers access to HUNDREDS of channels, many in HD?
Very little information is needed for GPS data. Head over to maps.google.com and feed it some pairs of random real numbers between -89.99999 and 89.99999 (as a pair, separated by a comma). You'll be able to get to within a couple of feet of ANY point on the planet with just 20 characters or less. Note that if you randomly pick something that's not over land (better odds than over land), you may have to zoom out quite a bit to see anything but blue.
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