2019 Aircraft Localization Competition - Montréal - April 15, 2019
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April 12, 2019 - by opensky-network.org
Air traffic control (ATC) is the backbone of what is arguably the key means of personal transport in the modern world. The key issue in controlling the airspace is to know where an aircraft is at any given time. Recent technological developments and stricter separation needs have given rise to new methods of aircraft localization, most notably the automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast protocol (ADS-B).
In ADS-B, aircraft simply report their exact location (determined with onboard GPS sensors) to ground stations periodically. While this approach has many advantages, the transfer of control over the reported location to the aircraft, however, brings a number of safety and security issues along. To mitigate these issues, complementary or redundant localization methods are needed that are independent of the aircraft.
At the same time, crowdsourced air traffic communication networks have gained importance over the past decade. Large private companies such as FlightRadar24 and FlightAware, research networks such as the OpenSky Network, and increasingly flight authorities themselves rely less and less on planned deployments of ATC receivers. Instead, they use distributed networks that are randomly deployed. Contrary to traditional, carefully planned receiver networks, this crowdsourced use of cheap sensors provides a number of new challenges to existing localization algorithms.
This competition is about finding the best methods to localize aircraft based on crowdsourced air traffic control communication data. The data is collected by the OpenSky Network, a large-scale ADS-B sensor network for research. OpenSky was first presented at the IEEE/ACM IPSN conference in Berlin in 2014 in this paper. As of today, the OpenSky Network continuously collects air traffic control data from thousands of aircraft. This data is received and streamed to Opensky over the Internet by a crowd operating more than 1000 sensors.
The goal of the competition is to determine the positions of all aircraft which do not have position reporting capabilities or may report wrong locations. To do so, competitors will rely on time of arrival and signal strength measurements reported by many different sensors. Although methods like multilateration are long known, this data poses new challenges because most of the low-cost sensors are not time synchronized or calibrated. Competitors will therefore have to face different kinds of noise, ranging from clock drifts, inaccurate sensor locations, or broken timestamps due to software bugs.
Read and learn more https://competition.opensky-network.org/competition.html