No doubt Internet is said to be the world’s largest repository of data and information. It contains an enormous amount of data related to almost everything. That is why it is the primary source for OSINT Investigation. This OSINT tutorial explains how you can track flights in an investigation by using Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) techniques and tools.
At times, you may need to find information related to the flights in which notorious individuals may travel, or you may want to track a military plane. You may want to get the idea of how many flights are operating from a particular airport or the number of flights of a specific airline. The type of information may seem difficult to get, but it is all possible with the help of OSINT.
I will show you by using a website named RadarBox.com; we can get lots of information about aircraft tracking.
List of Terms and Technology
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is a surveillance technology in which an aircraft determines its position via satellite navigation and periodically broadcasts it, enabling OSINT investigators to track the flight. Modern aircraft are equipped with ADS-B transponders.
The data transmitted by aircraft is unencrypted and readily received by the antennas at the ground. This technology has replaced the traditional old ground-based radar system.
Since January 2020, The Federal Aviation Administration has made mandatory to be equipped with ADS-B for all aircraft in most US-controlled air space. This made almost every aircraft have an ADS-B transponder.
Every aircraft uses a unique identifier i.e., a call sign throughout its flight. Commercial airplanes use a call sign that is totally dependant on its route. While private planes use their registration numbers as a call sign, in commercial aircraft, the call sign may change for every flight.
All aircraft are registered and have a registration number similar to automobiles. The registration number is present on the aft fuselage just forward of the tail, in earlier times more often on the tail itself, the registration is commonly referred to as the “tail number.”
This registration number is unique among countries. Any aircraft registered in one country will change its registration number when purchased and registered in another country.
Its manufacturing company allots every aircraft a serial number. You can take this as a Vehicle Identification Number VIN on automobiles. This serial number is immutable, making it useful for tracking an airplane over time between owners, registrations, and nations.
Steps To Track An Aircraft
Make A Free Account On Radarbox.Com
Browse the link: https://www.radarbox.com/
Select the option at the bottom “Create a free account”.
After creating a free account, you will see a screen where every flight can be seen in real-time at the globe.
It works similarly like google map where we can navigate to any region. If we zoom in to the Oregon state of the US, we see each aircraft moving across the map with greater detail, including the registration number of each plane, it’s origination and destination, and the type of aircraft.
Click on the aircraft to see further details related to the flight.
From this, we can get the information of the aircraft owner, source and destination of the flight, registration number, type of aircraft, and the serial number.
Track The Flight
We can track the flight (in our case from Portland to Sitka). At the bottom, you will find the “See Route” option, which will show us the entire route of the selected flight.
If you want to follow the flight, click the “Follow” at the bottom left, and you can follow this flight throughout its flight path.
Upgrade To Get More In-Depth Info
No doubt, there is a lot of information we can find with the free account. Still, there are more features like round speed, vertical speed, aircraft age, and several other pieces of data that are hidden.
Moreover, one significant disadvantage of using a free account is it times out after just 10 minutes. Besides, free users can only get 7 days of history for an aircraft.
The website is offering many types of paid accounts to get more information related to each flight.
For OSINT investigators, Spotter may be a suitable option; still, it entirely depends upon the kind of data you required.
If your investigation is all about tracking a flight or an aircraft, then this is the perfect site to get all the data related to the target flight.