Free aircraft scatter data via RapidAPI

Airplane scattering  [ ] (or most often reflection) is observed on radio waves from high frequency to VHF through to microwave and, besides back-scattering, yields momentary propagation up to 800 kilometers (500 miles) even in mountainous terrain. The most common back-scatter applications are air-traffic radar, bistatic forward-scatter guided-missile and airplane-detecting trip-wire radar, and the US space radar.


Contact opportunities can be predicted based on the precise flight paths of surrounding planes. There exist software solutions for prediction using local (Mode S and ADS-B) or online sources.

ADSBexchange offers a free API for aircraft position data for use by Amateur Radio Operators.

If you use this API, then you should contribute to by setting up an ADS-B receiver or adding to your current receiver.

You’ll also receive a Premium Black Enterprise Business Platinum Gold account as a reward.


Example Output for Aircraft Scatter Targets:



category: emitter category to identify particular aircraft or vehicle classes (values A0 – D7) (

A- = Unspecified powered aircraft
A1 = Light (< 15 500 lbs.)
A2 = Small (15 500 to 75 000 lbs.)
A3 = Large (75 000 to 300 000 lbs.)
A4 = High Vortex Large(aircraft such as B-757)
A5 = Heavy (> 300 000 lbs.)
A6 = High Performance ( > 5 g acceleration and > 400kts)
A7 = Rotorcraft

B- = Unspecified unpowered aircraft or UAV or spacecraft
B1 = Glider/sailplane
B2 = Lighter-than-Air
B3 = Parachutist/Skydiver
B4 = Ultralight/hang-glider/paraglider
B5 = Reserved
B6 = Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
B7 = Space/Trans-atmospheric vehicle

C- = Unspecified ground installation or vehicle
C1 = Surface Vehicle – Emergency Vehicle
C2 = Surface Vehicle – Service Vehicle
C3 = Fixed Ground or Tethered Obstruction
C4 = Cluster Obstacle
C5 = Line Obstacle
C6-C7 = Reserved
D0 = No ADS-B Emitter Category Information
D1-D7 = Reserved