‘No airplane captured’ (it’s not an error!)

Sometimes app Explane says ‘No airplane captured’ after you tried to measure the sound level of a passing aircraft.

This is not an error, but a built-in feature: the app checks if it has all data necessary to make a registration. If not, it says ‘No airplane captured’.

The app needs several data for its registrations. It needs to get the airplane data from the Open Sky Network, it needs a location, a working internet-connection and it needs access to your microphone to be able to measure.

If one of these resources is not available or if it takes to long to connect to the database, the app always says ‘No airplane captured’. It might have been able to measure noise levels, but maybe it couldn’t get fast enough to the airplane-database. Or is (temporarily) not able to access internet. Read more >

Over 250,000 registrations with Explane

Users of the Explane app have registered over 250,000 cases of aviation noise. This milestone has been reached two weeks ago.

One of the pages of the website with all aviation noise registrations from Explane users.

Although the Covid19-period was a little slower because of the ‘lack’ of aircraft, air traffic has since June 2020 picked up again. Also did the number of registrations.

In August 2020 alone we received almost 30,000 registrations. Most of them come from The Netherlands because we promote the app actively in our home country. Dutch people have made over 240.000 measurements of aviation noise since Explane was released in January 2019.

Picking up in other countries
However we do see a relatively strong growth in other countries. UK users sent in over 15,000 measurements, Australians almost 6,000 registrations, Belgians a thousand, as well did US residents. Read more >

New version of Explane under development

We have good news about the Explane app: there will be a new version of the app, which can also be used to continuously measure aviation noise.

With the new version, local residents can register all passing aircraft during self-chosen periods and pass them on to the central database.

This app is primarily intended for people with an older smartphone that is no longer in use and is waiting in a drawer for a new life. Such a phone must not be so old that newer versions of the operating system cannot run on it.

No SIM-card required
By installing the app on such a discarded smartphone, it can measure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A separate SIM-card is not required for this, as long as the telephone is within the range of a known Wi-Fi network. Read more >

City of Rotterdam embraces Explane app

Rotterdam is the first municipality in the world to support the Explane app for measuring aircraft noise.

Alderman Arno Bonte (GroenLinks) of Rotterdam will actively bring the Explane app to the attention of the Rotterdam population and wants to compare the results with those of the official reporting point of the DCMR environment service (photo: Municipality of Rotterdam).

This confirmed alderman Arno Bonte (GroenLinks) last Wednesday in a committee meeting of the Rotterdam city council.

Mayor Aboutaleb and the aldermen think the Explane app is a welcome addition to the DCMR environmental reporting system.

The alderman finds the app user-friendly and works well. “We will actively offer the app to residents of our city.”

Putting results together
Bonte believes that the app can work well in addition to the usual way of reporting from the environment service via the website or by telephone for years. “Afterwards we simply compare the results.” Read more >

No airplane captured (3)

Sometimes our app Explane says ‘No airplane captured’ after you have tried to measure the sound level of a passing aircraft.

We have asked our developer Roelof Meijer what the reasons can be for this annoying warning. He came up with several checks the app does before registering your measurement.

  • If there is no data available from the transponder of the plane (latitude, longitude, altitude) or if a plane is not equipped with a transponder (mostly older aircraft).
  • If the data available from the transponder is older than 15 seconds, the location data of the airplane is too old to be useful.
  • If the download of the transponder data takes more than 4 seconds. For example if you have a bad internet connection.
  • Read more >

    Online complaints center Schiphol hacked

    The online complaints center of Schiphol Airport has been hacked yesterday. Personal data of thousands of complainants have been stolen.

    Airports using the same software as the hacked Schiphol system (source: casper.aero)

    The hack has been confirmed by the airport and will be reported to the Dutch privacy protection agency. Data leaks can be fined with a maximum penalty of 10 million euros by Dutch authorities.

    The online complaints center was widely criticized by residents because it did not use secure connections to their website. This left personal data that has to be entered to complain vulnerable.

    Among the compromised data are street addresses and e-mail addresses from residents in the area of Schiphol Airport. On Twitter a lot of them react furiously. Read more >

    Over 100,000 registrations with Explane

    Today, at the 100th birthday of KLM, one of Europe’s most polluting airliners per capita, we have passed the 100,000th registration with our app Explane.

    Today’s screenshot of reports.explane.org

    Reaching this milestone the app is a huge success for enabling residents to register and document aviation noise. With the data, people can research the noise nuisance in their neighborhoods.

    Use in democratic process
    We have already seen the first documents from the Explane-website sent into the democratic process. Some residents have researched their situation and published their results in local and regional media and pointed politicians at the situation. Read more >

    Send your registrations also to BAS? #no #update

    This article is intended for our Dutch users, so the text is in Dutch. You can read the English translation at the bottom of this post.

    So in Dutch:
    Met de makers van de site ‘Over mijn dak’ onderzoeken we de mogelijkheid om deze app uit te breiden zodat iedere meting ook direct als klacht kan worden doorgestuurd aan het Bewoners Aanspreekpunt Schiphol (BAS).

    Hiervoor zou dan een tweede versie van Explane worden gebouwd, die via ‘Over mijn dak’ uw BAS-account kan koppelen aan de app. De koppeling gaat wél geld kosten omdat het systeem moet worden gebouwd en onderhouden. We denken aan een jaarlijks abonnementsprijs van 40 euro. Read more >

    ‘No airplane captured’ (2)

    Sometimes our app doesn’t catch the airplane you are trying to measure. This can have various reasons.

    The identification of the specific aircraft is retrieved in real time from the database of the Open Sky Network at the start of every measurement. This means that your phone needs to have a good and stable internet connection to be able to receive this information.

    If your internet connection is not stable enough, it will not be able to determine the ID. Also sometimes there can be a lag in the availability of the data. Or the database can be unavailable for technical reasons.

    We are dependent on that data to determine the ID. Since we do not registrate measurement without flight data for obvious reasons, you will not be able to send in that measurement. Read more >

    Average deviation Explane app only 2 decibels

    Just before the summer holidays we organized a calibration day with a large number of volunteers to find out to what extent the measurements with the free Explane app correspond to the real noise level. On average, Explane appears to deviate only 2 dB from a calibrated dB meter.

    Photo by Aaron Barnaby via Unsplash

    Explane.org and SchipholWatch are very happy with these results, especially since the measurements with Explane now appear to be more reliable than the calculations by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management and those of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

    ‘6 dB is within expected margins’
    As a reminder: the measurements of a test flight mid-last year (‘experience flight’) were sometimes as much as 6 dB higher than the previously calculated values. The minister, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, called this deviation “well within the expected margins”. Read more >