The mysterious disappearance of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 jet airliner on Flight MH370 in early March has resulted in space hardware being tasked with finding the location of the presumed crashed aircraft and its “black box” flight recorder. Meantime, recent radar plots and satellite images and early warning records from the region are currently being examined for any clues as to the aircraft’s location.
To avoid such disappearances over remote areas and oceans where primary radar and secondary transponder-based location systems cannot provide tracking coverage, air traffic systems around the world are now investing in the ADS-B system. Air traffic authorities in Europe and USA are now setting deadlines for transport aircraft to carry the system.
The ADS-B system via Iridium NEXT satellites can be used to track aircraft over remote regions and oceans. Courtesy: Aireon
ADS-B (Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) can track the position and height of all major aircraft in real time as derived from GPS or Galileo (or equivalent) satellite navigation data - provided a suitable ADS-B transmitter is carried on the aircraft.
While ground stations will still be the primary receivers of this information, ADS-B tracking payloads will be carried by new generation Iridium ...