Belgium expands network of ground stations to support low level surveillance

Cooperation between SafeSky, Avionix Engineering and experts of the Open Glider Network are cooperating to establish a low-level surveillance network.

Since the beginning of 2024, three air sports federations have started to deploy a network of ground stations/receivers in Belgium. The aim is to make air traffic electronically visible, ie eConspicuous, to all pilots in the sky.

The Belgian Ultralight Federation, the Flemisch Glider Federation and the Association of Motorized Flightclubs, invested EUR15,000 in the purchase of 21 receivers (ground stations/antennas) to be installed by the aeroclubs at Belgian airfields.

The aim is to cover the entire Belgian airspace at low altitudes. With this project, all EC systems are becoming federated into one source and made available for free to more than a dozen in-flight software and hardware. Non-commercial pilots will no longer fly without awareness of other possible conflicting aircraft.

All signals collected by the project’s ground stations are sent to a network. That network processes this data according to a new European standard (ADS-L) and makes it usable and accessible to a whole range of devices, apps and applications that pilots can use. This can be done via an ordinary smartphone or tablet. SafeSky, a Belgian company founded by six pilots, has developed a special app for this purpose that makes the data accessible in the air via a special internet protocol, using only a smartphone or tablet.

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