Lack of developer causes end of life for app Explane

The Explane app enables everyone to document aviation noise in their environment for free and easily. Unfortunately, due to lack of time from the original developer, the app is nearing the end of its life. Unless a new developer arises who wants to take over the development.

(this article is translated from Dutch by Google Translate)

Explane was developed by Roelof Meijer, who now has other things on his mind. Unfortunately, he no longer has time to keep the app up-to-date and to provide new functions.

It is estimated that the latest versions of the iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) operating systems for smartphones will cause Explane to no longer work (properly) on the latest devices within a year. Read more >

App Explane will work less optimal in the coming days

Due to maintenance on the OpenSky Network systems, the Explane app will not perform as well in the coming days or even weeks.

Explane uses the data from the network to determine which airliner is flying over at the time of measurement. Without access to this data, the app gives the message ‘No airplane captured’.

The day before yesterday, on September 2nd, OpenSky reported via Twitter that it is performing maintenance on their systems. This maintenance results in frequent loss of access to the data.

The outages will continue for the next few days and possibly weeks. After that, the app should work properly again. Read more >

Explane only for outside measurements

Please do not use Explane to send in measurements from inside your home. The app is designed only to be used outside.

If you send in measurements from inside your home, you will create a too positive image of the aviation noise in your environment.

On purpose we do not have an option in the app to indicate if you made an inside measurement. Such a registration doesn t say anything about the real aviation noise in your neighborhood, because every home has its own noise insulation coefficient.

You can use Explane to measure inside, but please don t send those measurements to our central database. There are other apps that can measure sounds inside, Explane is intended only to measure outside aviation noise. Read more >

‘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.

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.

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.

    Furiously
    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 >