Nowadays, all of our work is getting easier with various applications for almost all purposes. These applications are making our work more efficient and reliable. Whatever we need or whatever we want to do, we can do it just by installing the applications of our needs on our smartphones or tablets.

Just like other applications, some apps help us to track our flights; isn’t it sounds cool?

So here I am telling you about the same, these are FlightAware Flight Tracker (for iOS, Android), Flightview – Flight Tracker ( for iOS only), FlightStats (for iOS, Android), ADSB Flight Tracker (for Android only), Plane Finder – Flight Tracker, Planes Live – Flight Tracker (for iOS only), Flight Board (for Android only), Flight Board (for iOS only).

The flight mentioned above tracking apps help us to get minute-to-minute information regarding our flight without any delay. With these applications, we can track our flight on which time it will be arriving at the airport or where it is at present. Overall, with these flight tracking apps, we will be able to get the latest updates about our flight schedule and help us be on time at the airport.

In this article, I will embellish how these flight tracking apps work? To know more, be with me throughout this article.

These flight tracking apps gather data from many sources like ADS-B, MLAT, WAM. This article will tell you about all the latest technologies these apps use to work correctly and help us get the flight’s schedule data.

I am starting with explaining the ADS-B.

 1) ADS-B

ADS-B is an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast technique that is used firstly and foremost in-flight tracking apps, basically to determine or to detect the position, identification, or data like level and location with the help of GPS (Global Positioning System) embedded in the manufacturing of aircraft and then present it on the situation display. Along with this, every aircraft has a transponder, i.e. (a device that receives a radio signal and automatically transmits a different password) that can send a sign consisting of the location, which is then sustained by the receiver of the flight tracking app.

In this way, the flight tracking applications gather information through ADS-B technology by collecting information regarding the location and speed of the airlines in the area.

Flight tracking apps possess a network of receivers that helps receive information of the flight from the transponders and sent it to the servers. With ADS-B technology, more information that prevents collision like weather, overlay, and traffic surrounding aircraft can also be gathered.

So, in this manner, flight tracking apps can work efficiently using these data from ADS-B technology.

Let’s move on to the second technique through which these applications help us in tracking our flights.


MLAT is a Multilateration method, or we can say it is a proven technology that helps track those aircraft where there is no availability of ADS-B. It helps in both or is used in both surveillance and navigation applications. This is can be done with the help of a method known as the Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA).In this method, receiving the signal from the aircraft with an old ModeS- transponder is measured, so it can be possible to calculate the plane’s position. The thing which is specific for MLAT to work correctly along with TODA is that the aircraft should fly at an altitude range of 3,000-10,000 feet as it is easy for receivers to detect transponder signal on high altitudes. Also, refer to this guide by TechyHost to understand better. 

Apart from these above two techniques, flight tracking apps collect data from the following methods also.

3) Satellites 

Satellites are the latest step used in most flight tracking applications to make them work more reliably and accurately as satellites are installed with ADB-S receivers, collecting the data from the aircraft outside the coverage area of the ADB-S network. They sent the data on the Flightradar24 network, which comes along with the multiple providers. Satellite-based ADS-B is used in the areas where the coverage is above the ocean, where only having ADS-B transponders does not work.


FLARM is an acronym, i.e., Flight Alarm. It is an electronic device, or we can say it is a substitute for ADS-B, which is mainly used in smaller aircraft like gliders that are used for commercial purposes or which can take off weight approximately to 5650-5670 kg, or for fewer people for sightseeing, photography, in short for personal use. The FLARM receives a range of signals between 50 to 1000 Km. This can also be useful for detecting the signals from other small planes or even from helicopters, so it will be easy for the users of the applications to track more similar planes for them according to their convenience.

5) Federal Aviation Administration

Apart from all these techniques, another method or substitute helps obtain the flight tracker data, but with the delay of some minutes. This is used in the areas where ADS-B and MLAT technology is not used. In this situation, FAA is used to receive or obtain the signals of aircraft. It is used primarily in the regions of North America where the network coverage cannot be detected using ADS-B and MLAT techniques.

So, this is all about how the flight tracking apps work. I hope you find this article about how flight tracking apps work helpful.


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