OpenSky Network Blog

Friday, 03 April 2020 16:05

OpenSky COVID-19 Flight Dataset

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Over the past several weeks we have been inundated with requests regarding flight data related to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we have done our best to help researchers around the world using our trusted Impala shell, we are now releasing a public version of the flight meta data that we have collected over the first few months in 2020 as well as the whole year of 2019 for a pre-COVID-19 comparison. If you are only interested in the data, you can find it over at CERN's Zenodo repository:

We currently plan to update this dataset monthly during the pandemic. If you have research needs that go beyond this release model, you can apply for full data access with us.

The main use cases of flight data related to the pandemic are twofold: First, flight data can be used as input for models analysing and predicting the global spread of the virus. Second, flights as an indicator of economic activity can provide insights into the impact of the pandemic on both countries' economies in general and the aviation industry in particular. The data in this dataset is derived and cleaned from the full OpenSky dataset and made fully publicly available for the first time. It spans all flights seen by the network's more than 2500 members between 1 January 2020 and 1 April 2020.

The most important point to remember is that as these data are derived from our awesome feeders, we cannot provide every global flight movement in our dataset but only those ADS-B-equipped aircraft seen within our coverage!
An overview of our coverage is provided for any given day on our Facts page. An example for yesterday (2020-04-02) is shown here:


If you have access to a place that is not yet covered by OpenSky and want to see researchers include that area in the future, please do provide a feed!

Finally, Xavier Olive from ONERA has made some initial plots using this dataset, illustrating for example the drop in airtraffic at specific airports:



More up-to-date visualisations and code for use with this dataset can be found over at Impact of COVID-19 on worldwide aviation.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019 16:48

7th OpenSky Workshop in Zurich

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We are very excited to see you next week!


The full information about the 7th OpenSky Workshop in Zurich, Switzerland (November 2019) can be found on the new dedicated website

Tl;dr: Not that we know of. At least not deployed anywhere outside a lab. Some proposals have been floated, however.

This post was inspired by the recent report by the US Congress Government Accountability Office on ADS-B, which was discussed in many articles around the web, such as this one, for example: GAO: Pentagon, FAA Lag In Addressing ADS-B Risks

Let’s have a look at the source, these are quotes from the GOA’s actual document, citing some of the work from contributors here at OpenSky: [1]

A regular question that arises is why you should go through all the trouble of installing an ADS-B sensor when many people have done so already and you can simply use flight tracking websites such as OpenSky to follow almost any aircraft your want. This post is going to list some of the reasons why people are joining the flight tracking community and sharing their own data.

Monday, 15 January 2018 10:49

Do Military Aircraft use ADS-B?

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Yes, they do, at least partially, but there are massive differences between countries.

Let’s add some data to this popular question, shall we? This is from our recent paper at the 36th Digital Avionics Systems Conference [1]. We collected ADS-B and Mode A/C/S data from over 6000 aircraft operated by militaries all over the world (with a strong focus on Europe/the US) using the The OpenSky Network. The key plot to answer the question is the following:



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