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Odd ADSB Beacon

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Multiple times a day (normally 2-4 times) I receive a really odd ADSB beacon that says its a "ufo" and the only flight data given is its altitude.

no latitude, longitude, speed or heading information is present.

The signal normally lasts for about 5 minutes before disappearing.

Does anyone have any idea of what this might be?.

Or is it just a pilot pulling a prank?.ufo.png?lgfp=1000

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Looks like an unidentified aircraft, could be a small private plane with no call-sign, or you could have gotten an incomplete beacon (due to distance, interference, etc.)

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Looks like an unidentified aircraft, could be a small private plane with no call-sign, or you could have gotten an incomplete beacon (due to distance, interference, etc.)

The ICAO code is the same every time, and other times when ive gotten incomplete beacons I just haven't got all of the information.

ive gotten plenty of beacons without registrations but this one says its registration is "ufo" every single time

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That may very well be the interpretation by the adsbScope program of the received numbers.

Look at it from a developer's standpoint. You get data which tends to be in the form of <id>,<lattitude>,<longtitude> but you have to verify within your software that the data you got is valid. And notice in your screenshot it also says "Time out of range, fixed" which means this stuff can and does go wrong sometimes. Sometimes it can be fixed, sometimes it may not. Back to the developer. He expects 3 values and must distrust the data. So he's now burdened with the question of what to do when some of this info is wrong. He could discard it, but you'd have people freaking out at home because a plane just went missing while over a major city that doesn't have an airport. Next thing you know his program will have caused people to phone 911 saying "OMG! 9-11!". The alternative is to show what you have, possibly based on a little history - I have a reading that was valid and I now have a new reading but the longtitude is busted. The ID is of a plane I saw 5 seconds ago. Let's assume the longtitude didn't change relative to that one and just hope for the best. Come next beacon we'll fix things up. Sounds reasonable, no?

But what to do when the ID is busted? We know the other data will have changed since there aren't a lot of non-military VTOL planes, so we can't look for a plane recently seen at those same coordinates. We could do some math on headings and what not but unless you want to get into some really complicated math, and this program is a labor of love so maybe some other schmuck can work on that part later, let's just list it as an UFO and take it from there.

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  • 3 months later...

I can't find info on Mode-S Hexcode D4CDAB however I can offer some insight to ADSB / Mode-S callsigns.

Callsigns are entered into the transponder / flight management computer by the pilot AND its not a requirement to enter any or even the correct callsign at this time (that might change in the future).

Sometimes pilots weill enter something funny in the computer just as a joke. Some strange ones I've seen are NOSOUP4U, FAASUCKS, and recently here in the United States there have been bunch of military C-130 pilots flying around with the callsign set to BEERME.

Also all of the military TACAMO (TakeChargeAndMoveOut - doomsday) E-6 aircraft fly with their callsigns set to GOTO FMS. The reason is a bit funny. When they installed new Flight Managment Systems in the E-6s the pilots kept asking the electronic techs "where do I put the callsign in these new things". The Electronic techs got tired of telling the plots "it goes into the Flight Management System" so the techs decided to set ALL of the E-6 FMS system callsign to "GOTO FMS" hoping the pilots would see it on the display and remember...the pilots revolted and said I ain't changing that thing, it can just say set to GOTO FM.... To this day anytime you see a GOTO FMS callsign either on your ADSB or on one of the online tracking maps you can bet that its an E-6 TACAMO aircraft out of Tinker Air Force Base.



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