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Satellite plane-tracking goes global

Satellite plane-tracking goes global

Science
Tracking aeroplanes anywhere in the world just got a lot easier.The US firm Aireon says its new satellite surveillance network is now fully live and being trialled over the North Atlantic.The system employs a constellation of 66 spacecraft, which monitor the situational messages pumped out by aircraft transponders.These report a plane's position, altitude, direction and speed every eight seconds.The two big navigation management companies that marshal plane movements across the North Atlantic - UK Nats and Nav Canada - intend to use Aireon to transform their operations.The more detailed information they now have about the behaviour of aeroplanes means more efficient routing can be introduced. This ought to reduce costs for airlin...