Space Based ADS-B – Blog

For over 2 decades AirNav Systems has been committed to creating the industry’s most reliable and extensive ADS-B network on the ground. Our excellent worldwide coverage stands testament to this. But we’re always looking to push limits and improve. And that’s why we’re going beyond the stratosphere – into space.

We are announcing the live streaming of data from our first space based ADS-B satellite!

The announcement happened during the 2018 European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2018), the largest aviation business fair in Europe, happening in Geneva from May 29 to 31, that we are very proudly attending – if you are here please do come by booth Q109 and check out our sattelite feed.

Traditionally, ground based ADS-B receivers along with Radar have been used to track aircraft. This method, however, has had its own set of challenges since ADS-B is based on the line of sight principle. Mountains, buildings, vast water bodies and other obstructions can significantly decrease a receivers range and ability to receive transponder emitted signals.  Thus limiting a receivers coverage to a small geographic pocket (150 nautical miles on average).

Satellite based ADS-B, we believe, is “the next big thing” in the flight tracking domain as it enables us to provide flight data in places where ground-based ADS-B simply cannot reach. 

ADS-B Reception Satellite in Space

How it works

Space based ADS-B uses data from receivers that are placed on nano-satellite constellations in space to track aircraft as they fly. With space based ADS-B, we’ll be able to track aircraft anywhere on earth, even over oceans. Thus allowing 100 percent global air traffic surveillance regardless of terrain, location or infrastructure. Tracking is not affected by weather or other natural phenomenon. For a long time, we’ve wanted to guarantee worldwide nonstop flight tracking without interruptions or delays and now we can.

By complimenting the existing ground based ADS-B network, space based ADS-B will be able to provide a more complete picture to the users on the ground. Moreover, aircraft are not required to have any special equipment on board their aircraft or fleet other than an ADS-B out transponder.

Above, Station “SAT1”, our first of 88 nano-satellites that will provide coverage to the entire globe. The satellite icon represents the position of the satellite, the blue border the range of the satellite coverage, the blue dot in Denmark is the ground station that is receiving the data from the satellite and the blue planes are the flights tracked by the satellite. 

No special permission is required from the FAA or national & civil aviation regulators for this service. Customers who operate an aircraft or an aircraft fleet and are looking to be compliant with the mandatory FAA/ICAO/EASA flight tracking requirements that come into effect in the year 2020, can do so now with AirNav’s ground and space ADS-B network service – RadarBox

Satellite coverage across multiple Air Traffic Control boundaries. Also, Emirates Airlines flight EK158 from Stockholm, Sweden to Dubai, UAE crossing the Baltic Sea, an area where coverage isn’t always optimal.

As you can see Wizz Air flight W61676 from Gdansk, Poland to Karmøy, Norway is one of the many flights that were already tracked via satellite in our platform. Number of fligths tracked via satellite will increase as more nano-satellites are added to the constellation.


  1. 100% world-wide coverage.
  2. Overall efficient routing, fewer delays & enhanced saftey.
  3. Full integration with existing ground-based systems.
  4. Full compliance with FAA/EASA/ICAO flight tracking requirements.


  1. Customers who operate an aircraft or an aircraft fleet and are looking to be compliant with the mandatory FAA/ICAO/EASA flight tracking requirements, can do so now with our space based ADS-B constellation network and tracking their fleets under Business accounts.
  2. Aircraft are not required to have any special equipment on board their aircraft or fleet other than an ADS-B out transponder.
  3. Those who are already subscribed to our satellite based ADS-B service will also continue to receive real-time access to other flight data sources such as ADS-B, MLAT, FAA ASDI, Oceanic Reports, Flight Plans, CPDLC and HFDL.

How can I track my aircraft

Tracking your aircraft is easier than ever with our brand new user interface. Once you subscribe for a business account, just go to the “My Fleet” section, enter you aircraft regiatration/tail-number and activate satellite data for each aircraft registration. Thats it! You should be able to monitor your fleet instantly.

Fleet Tracker

And now what?

AirNav Systems will deploy more ADS-B nano-satellites – reaching a total of 88 – in the coming months which will improve the satellite coverage. Here is our timeline:

  • Q1 2019 – First Satellites Active 
  • Q2 2019 – Full Coverage between North 30 and South 30
  • Q3 2019 – Partial Polar Coverage
  • Q4 2019 – Full Worldwide Coverage (Space Based ADS-B)

Satellite based data API

If you would like to use our API or Space Based ADS-B data for the software solutions you provide, please contact us.


For more information please contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you might have.

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