Live flight tracking over the Nellis range (NTTR)

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posted on Jan, 26 2013 @ 11:59 PM
flight tracking

Click the above link. Find "settings" on the left side of the _ Click on "settings." To see only live aircraft, click on "show FAA traffic". A red dot indicates FAA traffic is off. (The FAA feed is delayed and censored.)

If you find a plane with no flight identification, you can click on it, revealing a panel on the left. If it lists a hexcode, you can look it up at the link below.

hexcode database

Note that military flights usually have their tracking turned off when in the US. Occasionally they screw up and leave the tracking on. If you are interested in the technology, look up ads-b.

The Las Vegas coverage is a recent change to the service.

posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 07:01 PM
Thanks for the link gariac. That's one of the better ones I've seen. Couple things to note. Saw a Cessna 182 flying just south of the box. At least that's what they are flying under. Also, kinda comical that papoose is showing water in it. Ok sometimes it does but not year round!

You have a link to a website listing the different identifiers with companies? (Like AA for American?)

posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 11:38 PM
reply to post by boomer135

The FAA has an abbreviation for the word abbreviation:
faa abbreviations

Incidentally, I've been hacking with a cheap arse DVB-T (European HDTV) dongle to decode similar information as flightradar24 provides. I haven't got around to writing anything up yet, but I can tell you the cheap arse DVB-T is good for about 160 statute miles right out of the box. Well make that cheap arse plastic.

You can look at this for starters:
$10 cheap arse adsb receiver

I've got it running under linux. I haven't quite figured out how to make it work under windows, at least for aircraft tracking. Basically you replace the factory driver with a hacked driver that opens up the reception range. Then you need to load up programs for software defined radio. Lastly, you need Virtual Radar Server.
virtual radar server
VRS runs under .net on windows and using mono under linux.

I was in Vegas in January and did a quick loop around the range. The weather was crap. I did manage to shoot one daylight session of Red Flag, albeit in crappy weather. I got a room in Tonopah and ran the DVB-T dongle. I could only see to the north.
dvb-T plus vrs in Tonopah
Tonopah is the intersection of route 6 and route 95. I could detect aircraft beyond Fallon.

You won't believe this, but I was scrapping snow off the car in Tonopah, and by the time I made it south of Goldfield Summit the weather was just partly cloudy and in the mid-50s. No snow on the ground at all. Annoyed with getting no outdoor time to speak of, I detoured to the big dunes by route 95, which is called Big Dunes. ;-)
quads on the dunes

Back to the DVB-T, this software even detects TCAS (air to air transmissions). That is something only the current generation SBS-1 can do. If you had one of these dongles set up, you could be a "premium" member of flightradar24 by feeding their service.

Note that the civil air patrol flies C182s. It wouldn't surprise me if they had ads-b gear on the planes given their charter. I don't recall if I posted it on ATS or not, but I detected a private aircraft flying over the TTR on a Sunday. This is allowed if the range is not in use.

posted on Feb, 5 2013 @ 11:52 PM
This is really cool thanks.

I remember someone else posting something similar except it showed ships instead of planes.

Thanks for the link though.

posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 12:15 AM
reply to post by Spookycolt

Yeah, and I bitched and moaned about SDR. I'm still not a fan of the technology, but for some things, SDR is OK. The problem is you need a computer, so portable use is kind of limited. Don't expect 10 hours on your tablet running SDR. But for aircraft tracking and ship tracking (AIS), it is hard to be a cheap dongle and some software. The problem is these dongles have no prefiltering. The input is totally wide open. They have trouble if you are near a transmitter. Once you add a filter, the price goes up. Mode-s is L-band, very lose to the 950 GSM band.

posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 07:16 AM
Damn I hadn't thought about CAP. That would make sense, but man were they close. Enough for the controllers to probably vector them around in my opinion. Hell they do that with military jets that are allowed to fly in the range!

posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 03:55 PM
reply to post by boomer135

A friend flying on the west side of the range got a visit from an A-10 rocking its wings. He was still in free territory, but the A-10 had a different opinion. ;-)

There is a lot of VFR traffic on the east side of the range that never gets logged on the internet. The planes are not required to have ADS-B yet in the US. [Loosely called Nextgen.] In Europe, they must have ADS-B, so flightradar24 tracks a lot more aircraft there. I've visually spotted the DOE Beechcraft flying along the east side of the range, but east of the ET Highway as well. I don't know if there is a visual flight corridor there, but I suspect the aircraft use the ET Highway to insure they don't drift into the Nellis range. On the west side of the range, there is considerable free territory on the east side of route 95, so the planes don't have a good visual guide. Flying west of route 95 involves not running into mountains.

There are three basic ways civilian aircraft are identified. There is the traditional transponder where the pilot enters a code assigned by air traffic control (ATC) over the radio. Without the assigned code, the plane is just a blip on the screen with no accurate data regarding altitude. The transponder reports either the altitude or the squawk code depending on how ATC interrogates it (based on the signal ATC transmits). Mode-s is a variant on the old transponder scheme except that each plane has a unique (in theory) code assigned to it. This is generally referred to as the hex code or ICAO code. These codes are documented by the FAA in the US or the controlling authority elsewhere.The plane still has to be pinged by ATC to make it talk. ADS-B is a bit different in that it just chirps all by itself. I'm not entirely sure how they deal with multiple signal being received at the same time, other than the code has some error checking bits. The receiver software tosses out any data that doesn't pass parity checks in the case of mode-s or error checking in the case of ADS-B. This isn't a big deal since the plane can be interrogated again or the ADS-B will give out another chirp.

Military aircraft do not have their codes documented, well at least in a public document. At the moment, only the heavies have the gear (tankers, cargo, E-6 Mercury, and U-2). For civilian use, the codes need to be determined visually (watching the plane on the receiver and noting the tail number as it lands), by callsign in some cases (Reach flights), and HFDL decoding. That is where this website comes in handy.
Live military mode-s tracking
It is essentially a crowd source document of military hex codes as well as tracking with coarse geographical data.

To get all the data on the website, you need to feed the system. This should be doable with Virtual Radar Server, which can take the AVR format data from DVB-T dongle and convert it to Kinetics SBS format.

I predict in short order Airnav and Kinetics will make a dongle for such detection. Not for $10, but a dongle in the $100 range with a bit of front end filtering and turn-key software. The hand writing is on the wall. If they don't do it, someone else will.

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