Consume app: Many of us look up at the sky and wish we had the power to know more about each plane we see. Sonderfly is an augmented-reality mobile app to help us do just that.

Using the new AR toolkit in the .NET ArcGIS Runtime SDK, along with ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS Notebook Server, Sonderfly gives users a real-time AR view of nearby aircraft. It allows them to view information about each aircraft, such as its flight number, airports of departure and arrival, velocity, and altitude.

The app uses data from a free API called The OpenSky Network, which gives us real-time updates about not only large passenger jets, but any airplane broadcasting its statistics via ADS-B, ASTERIX, and MLAT. We use one endpoint to receive statistics about each aircraft, and another to receive information about its flight plan. To get the data into the app, we integrated ArcGIS Enterprise and ArcGIS Notebook Server. An ArcGIS Notebook we wrote in Python will grab the latest OpenSky data, transform that JSON into a readable CSV with headers, and overwrite a hosted feature layer using the new CSV. Using the new automated execution feature in ArcGIS Notebook Server 10.8, we schedule the notebook to remotely run every thirty seconds.

The end feature layer is hosted in our ArcGIS Enterprise portal. The Sonderfly iOS app pulls its data from the hosted feature layer every ten seconds.

When you launch the Sonderfly app, you will see 3D model aircraft flying around you on your phone screen. Thanks to AR, they are in the same spot as the actual craft, assuming that your phone's GPS is reporting the correct location and heading of the device.

Of course, you're normally thousands of meters away from planes in the sky. However, a small error in your phone's heading can result in the virtual airplanes being ahead or behind of the real location. To account for this, we added the ability to adjust your device's rotation by sliding 2 fingers across the screen to fix the phone's heading value. The Sonderfly app takes AR a step further by giving you the ability to switch to the plane's perspective. When you tap this button, you are transported up into the air and given an AR view of the 3D terrain and sky from the plane's location. From here, you can view nearby airports and the location of your phone. You can switch back to view fro m your location at any time.

Future enhancements to Sonderfly include an Android app, as well as a full desktop app. We want to provide an AR tabletop view where users can see the view from any particular airport, with planes arriving and departing. We'd like to integrate ArcGIS GeoEvent Server and the FlightAware Firehose (a paid subscription API stream with extensive real-time data). In the app itself, we see ways to improve performance. We also want to add a flight path view, where you can view the polyline flight path for any given aircraft.

With Sonderfly, we are using the power of ArcGIS and augmented reality to inform, inspire, and indulge our natural curiosity about what's above us.

One drive location holding pictures, videos, and gifs of our app working

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