A k-NN-Based Localization Approach for Crowdsourced Air Traffic Communication Networks
IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
In this work, we argue that current state-of-the-art methods of aircraft localization such as multilateration are insufficient, in particular for modern crowdsourced air traffic networks with random, unplanned deployment geometry. We propose an alternative, a grid-based localization approach using the k-Nearest Neighbor (k-NN) algorithm, to deal with the identified shortcomings. Our proposal does not require any changes to the existing air traffic protocols and transmitters, and is easily
... ented using only low-cost, commercial-off-the-shelf hardware. Using an algebraic multilateration algorithm for comparison, we evaluate our approach using real-world flight data collected with our collaborative sensor network OpenSky. We quantify its effectiveness in terms of aircraft location accuracy, surveillance coverage, and the verification of false position data. Our results show that the grid-based k-NN approach can increase the effective air traffic surveillance coverage compared to multilateration by a factor of up to 2.5. As it does not suffer from dilution of precision to the same extent, it is more robust in noisy environments and performs better in pre-existing, unplanned receiver deployments. We further find that the mean aircraft location accuracy can be increased by up to 41% in comparison with multilateration while also being able to pinpoint the origin of potential spoofing attacks conducted from the ground.