What is it?
ADS-B stands for "Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast" which is a fairly new technology in aviation. The concept of ADS-B enables identification of an aircraft without the need of a classical radar station. This is because aircrafts that are equipped with an ADS-B transponder continually sending out identification code, position, heading, flightlevel and some more parameters. When using an ADS-B receiver like our RadarStick, anyone can receive this broadcasted data. Airports as well as private users (avaition enthusiasts) worldwide use this technology to feed the data into various networks for tracking and surveillance purposes or just as a hobby.
What are the drawbacks of ADS-B?
Nearly all modern aircrafts are ADS-B equipped out of the factory and some airlines try to equip all their older planes too. But there is no international regulation who forces to do so. As a result estimated 60% of all aircrafts use ADS-B today, with more than 90% in fleets operating over Europe. As for our apps, the major drawback is, that we cannot visualize any plane, but only those already equipped with ADS-B transponders, because we rely on the radars which collect ADS-B real-time data.