NEWS & UPDATES

Associated Press: It’s getting harder for a plane to vanish and not be found

Nearly three years after a Malaysian airliner vanished, it’s still possible, if unlikely, for a plane to disappear. But that’s changing with new satellites that will soon allow flights to be tracked in real time over oceans. New international safety standards also begin to kick-in beginning next year, although the deadline for airlines to meet most of the standards is still four years away. Even then, it could be decades before the changes permeate the entire global airline fleet because some of the requirements apply only to newly manufactured planes….

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The era of space-based surveillance is here!

Launching from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the SpaceX Falcon 9 is on schedule to deliver the first 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into low-earth orbit. Iridium is hosting specially designed Aireon receivers on each satellite, covering 100 per cent of the globe to offer global air traffic surveillance. The orbital configuration of the low-latency, cross-linked Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites provides complete global coverage, including oceanic and polar regions, without the need for ground stations. The LEO altitude allows the aircraft signals to be received in space without any…

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VOA: SpaceX to Deploy Airplane Trackers in ‘Delicate Choreography’

Currently, 70 percent of the world’s airspace is without real-time surveillance because of rough terrain, deserts or vast oceans. The technology on the new satellites makes airplanes trackable over the entire Earth, including those black zones. No one can currently pinpoint a plane in those areas — even on a flight over the Atlantic from the United States to Europe — except the pilot and the passengers. “You look at the screen on the back of the seat and you see the map and you recognize where you are. But…

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WSJ: Space-Based Flight Tracking Comes Closer With Launch of Satellites

A cluster of satellites set to launch in the coming days could move the aviation industry closer to overhauling the way air-traffic controllers track planes around the world. For decades, controllers have used ground-based radar to direct planes over land. More recently, they have been finding aircraft locations via global positioning satellites, or GPS, but they can do so only over land or near the shore. They have had no real-time ability to track planes in flight over oceans, which cover 71% of the planet, or over remote polar regions….

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