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Integrating pyModeS and OpenSky Historical Database

10 pagesPublished: December 23, 2019


A large quantity of Mode S data is being gathered by the OpenSky receiver network every day. Information regarding common flight states, such as position, ground speed, and the vertical rate is broadcast by ADS-B and has already been decoded and made available for researchers via the OpenSky historical database. However, there is still a large amount of Mode S communication data that has not yet been fully explored. Specifically, the information contained in Enhanced Mode S Surveillance downlink messages can be utilized to better support ATM research. The challenge of decoding such information lies in the implicit inference process for Mode S Comm-B messages. This paper presents a new open library, pymodes-opensky, which connects the existing open-source pyModeS decoder to the raw Mode S messages from the OpenSky historical database through the Impala shell. It also presents a convenient workflow that can be used to obtain additional information regarding airspeeds, flight intentions, and meteorological conditions of a given flight from the OpenSky database. An analysis based on a global dataset from OpenSky is conducted, and the associated Mode S interrogation statistics in different regions are shown.

Keyphrases: Mode-S, OpenSky, pyModeS, pymodes-opensky

In: Christina Pöpper and Martin Strohmeier (editors). Proceedings of the 7th OpenSky Workshop 2019, vol 67, pages 63--72

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Junzi Sun and Jacco Hoekstra},
  title     = {Integrating pyModeS and OpenSky Historical Database},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the 7th OpenSky Workshop 2019},
  editor    = {Christina P\textbackslash{}"opper and Martin Strohmeier},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Computing},
  volume    = {67},
  pages     = {63--72},
  year      = {2019},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-7340},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/mmsb}}
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