This map, made up of Aircraft data, from FlightAware, is used for tracking planes globally. Recently, Raspberry Pi owners have had their chance to help by providing FlightAware with any aircraft that have been flying above them. The data is then fed to FlightAware to improve their service
These Raspberry Pi users who have freely helped FlightAware have been using software defined radio modules to pick up messages from planes. Last year, FlightAware announced that anyone with a Raspberry Pi, a software defined radio module and internet connection would get a completely free FlightAware Enterprise account if they could help by listening to ADS-B transmitters and giving that information to FlightAware. Incase you don’t know what ADS-B is, it provides information on planes flying overhead such as the plane’s ID number, it’s coordinates, height, and current speed.
Due to some new software releases from FlightAware (called PiAware), it means that old Mode S transponders that only relay the plane’s ID number can now be followed by Raspberry Pi users.
This is a fantastic example of how the Pi is being used for interesting applications. According to FlightAware, because of the Raspberry Pi users helping to gather data, they can now track over twice as many aircraft globally!
The great thing about this is that anyone can get involved! You can learn more about this scheme here. It could even be your next project! The whole build will cost around $100.