Adam Burns on Thu, 5 Sep 2019 11:57:02 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Flying in Berlin's Sky, an Afternoon Investigation - September 22

Dear Harv,

Thank you for adding insight from your expertise in this area.

I was approached by an NGO several years ago to develop robust,
embedded, low power ADSB radio loggers to be deployed in remote areas of
conflict and strife, specifically to assist with detection of anomalies
that may assist with discovery of human and arms trafficking activity.

Third party aircraft radio beacon detection networks (such as
Flightaware, etc) were not trusted, as their aggregated data collection
and web presentation were seen as mediated, potentially edited to remove
such data.

There was knowledge and recognition within the NGO that not all aircraft
are fitted with ADSB beacons and not all aircraft fitted with beacons
would have them switched on during such "sensitive" flights.

However over the years, increased regulatory mandates for the active
installation and usage of ADSB within aircraft to assist with airspace
management has meant that most commercial and military aircraft now have
the beacons fitted. But of course as you say, no doubt not all military
flights will have them active. Transnational flights that are picked up
via radar or visual identification without their corresponding beacons
run the risk of detection and potential international dispute (a form of
peer review of the beacon regulation).

The NGOs rational for this project was specifically to cover anomalous
flight data that differed from or was not detected (through remoteness)
by 3rd party detector networks or public flight records, as well as the
case of human error, arrogance or ignorance in terms of beacons being
left on by military or especially subcontractor flights engaged in such

Although not an expert in the field, I find the ADSB beacons for
aircraft and the corresponding AIS beacons for shipping and waterway
entities a fascinating evolution in terms of direct exposure of transit
network placement and movement. With the availability of cheap consumer
USB radio detectors, Internet based networks such as Flightaware, etc.
have business models based on highly distributed networks of local radio
receivers providing a service of aggregation and correlation in global
visibility of human and goods movement.



On 04/09/2019 22:50, Harv Stanic Staalman wrote:

> On Wed, 4 Sep 2019 17:43:47 +0200
> Tatiana Bazzichelli <> wrote this:
>> Dear Harv,
>> you get here the answer directly from Emmanuel Freudenthal, who I am
>> quoting:
>> "Flightradar, Flightaware and all the websites apart from one
>> (ADSB-Exchange) remove many aircrafts from the data that they present on
>> their website.
>> More than 80% of all military aircraft and 60% of all government
>> aircraft aren't shown.
> Hi and thanks for your answer.
> But that is simply not true and I am not really saying trust me - but I
> do. :)
> When I was 18 years old, I have been educated as a military flight
> controller - you know that guy in the tower, nervous and smoking a lot
> while looking into the "lighthouse ray" of a, now ancient, Raytheon
> round radar. 
> I have had many years ago a correspondence with many airplanes enthusiasts
> so I got to know the guys who build trackers - such as F24 and some
> others.
> Especially that is as conspiracy theories would claim, not really hidden
> info, so while it is true that all are not shown the reason is
> however manyfold, but rational. 
> TLDR: Many aircrafts have no ADS-B transceiver, especially military, one
> of the reasons they do not show up...
> Here some other reasons not really listed on F24 follow.
> Usually military flies above or under the known commercial routes so they
> do not have to switch transponders and/or FoF (friend or foe) ID signal,
> more as in "not obliged" while doing training flights, but most of them 
> do have them on.
> Russians always have them on on almost all the known frequencies. 
> They had those on even doing the bomb runs in Syria.
> MLAT - multilateral - or a GSS (ground, sky, satellite) - triangualtion is
> another method to track the planes, but it is not the most accurate as
> ground radars are mostly effective on the lower flying planes, below
> 11.000 meters. Military usually goes high up to 18.000 or even 20.000.
> Other reasons  - as in  FR24 and almost all other trackers - are to not to
> create a clutter as most of the people are interested in commercial
> flights.
> Also if you subscribe for a fee on some you'll get all the info as in this
> case:
> So there is no plane today that can really hide in the skies regardless of
> being NATO, stealth or anything else. 
> But I wish you good luck in finding hidden planes, sounds fun if anything
> else.
> Berlin being far for me, I am more fascinated by those guys at:
> That is a lot of electricity and a pile of cool antennas tracking it.
> just a quick remark 
> my best
> Harv

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