Image Cache: Satellites get a wonderful view of the Earth and since October 2015 one in particular has been tumbling through space while keeping a watchful eye on the planet's air traffic. This is what it has seen. Browse through the cool photos, animations and diagrams in Gizmodo's Image Cache here.
The European Space Agency's GomX-3 CubeSat is little modular satellite that's equipped with a distinctive helical antenna. It uses that to detect the million of signals emitted by aircraft -- many of which are known as ADS-B signals and contain data about speed, position and altitude. This map shows position data of aircraft that GomX-3 has spotted while it's been orbiting the planet.
It's hoped more and more planes will begin to transmit ADS-B signals in the future. In the long-term, a networks of satellites like GomX-3 could then be used to provide an automatic aircraft surveillance from above.
Image by ESA/GomSpace