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UN deal allows satellite tracking of airlines


  • Air-planes can be tracked by satellite, not just from the ground
  • Under the current radar based system, planes are monitored by land based system

Motivated by the mystery disappearance of a Malaysia Airlines jet-liner last year, a deal was reached at a U.N. meeting that opens the way for satellite tracking of airlines. The agreement allows nations to set aside radio frequencies so that air-planes can be tracked by satellite – not just from the ground.
Under current radar-based systems, the movement of planes is monitored by land-based systems, leaving around 70 percent of the world’s surface uncovered.
Modern planes that can send Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, or ADS-B, signals to the ground are now on track to send signals to satellites too — with implementation expected by 2017.