Swedish aircraft flight information service provider Flightradar24 has completed its first space-based automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) flight tracking test.
Flightradar24 has concluded the trial in collaboration with Airbus Group subsidiary Airbus Defence and Space, and Denmark-based business GomSpace.
The company used the GomSpace Express-3 (GOMX-3) satellite to gather ADS-B data from flights travelling over the Atlantic Ocean outside Flightradar24’s terrestrial coverage area.
The data was then integrated into the Flightradar24 network, which is the first for any commercial flight tracking service, to ensure global ADS-B coverage.
Flightradar24 collected data through the GOMX-3 nano-satellite, which is a collaboration between GomSpace and the European Space Agency launched last October.
The data was transmitted to a ground receiver and processed at the Airbus Defence and Space ground segment, before being combined with schedule and route information and displayed on Flightradar24.
The GOMX-3 satellite takes nearly 90 minutes to complete each revolution around the earth at a speed of 27,440km every hour.
This enables Flightradar24 to capture data and download it from the satellite as it moves from southwest to northeast across the Atlantic Ocean.
The company could receive positions from 192 airplanes from the first two passes of the satellite over the Atlantic Ocean.
Aeroplanes that were tracked with the GOMX-3 satellite were highlighted in blue icons, along with the T-GOMX3 radar code.
Though the area of satellite coverage for a single pass is limited, the data collected is important for Flightradar24 to expand the satellite ADS-B coverage in the future.
Image: The path of the GOMX-3 satellite displayed during the second pass in the test conducted by Flightradar24. Photo: courtesy of Flightradar24.