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Tracking Light Aircraft with Smartphones at Low Altitudes

1
Department of Computing and Informatics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK
2
Institute of Flight Systems, German Aerospace Center (DLR), 38108 Braunschweig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Antonio Comi
Information 2021, 12(3), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/info12030105
Received: 27 January 2021 / Revised: 23 February 2021 / Accepted: 26 February 2021 / Published: 2 March 2021
Most aircraft in the world are tracked by various surveillance radar systems. Currently there is no legal requirement for light aircraft to be fitted with a transponder; however, this does not mean light aircraft should not be tracked. By adding a cheap, live tracking solution for light aircraft, the safety of low-flying aircraft pilots can be greatly increased. The radio operators who coordinate the aircraft can have an improved understanding of the air traffic and in the event of an emergency, the position of the aircraft can be relayed to emergency services. This paper proposes an approach to use a smartphone as an aircraft transponder to improve the radar tracking capabilities of low-flying aircraft. This study presents a practical and effective approach as well as a prototype implementation. The study includes the development of the three main components: (1) A mobile application that transforms a smartphone into an aircraft transponder; exploiting the GPS functionalities, (2) a desktop application that visualizes the aircraft data in real time on a map, and (3) a backend that bridges the mobile and the desktop application. To evaluate the study, flight tests were performed in a real aircraft over the Isle of Wight in the UK. View Full-Text
Keywords: aircraft tracking application; system modeling; mobile application for aircraft; low-flying aircraft tracking system aircraft tracking application; system modeling; mobile application for aircraft; low-flying aircraft tracking system
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lilly, B.; Cetinkaya, D.; Durak, U. Tracking Light Aircraft with Smartphones at Low Altitudes. Information 2021, 12, 105. https://doi.org/10.3390/info12030105

AMA Style

Lilly B, Cetinkaya D, Durak U. Tracking Light Aircraft with Smartphones at Low Altitudes. Information. 2021; 12(3):105. https://doi.org/10.3390/info12030105

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lilly, Benjamin; Cetinkaya, Deniz; Durak, Umut. 2021. "Tracking Light Aircraft with Smartphones at Low Altitudes" Information 12, no. 3: 105. https://doi.org/10.3390/info12030105

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