Data on the Fly Event In NC Uses Aviation to Inspire Students, Honor Gold Star Families

Photo above – Karen Allen and Don Koch, SAS employees that have been instrumental in developing the successful Data on the Fly program. 

Students (above and at left) build a Stratux device. Photos by Kim Stevens.

Data on the Fly, an event sponsored by SAS that uses aviation to inspire students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math careers, returned to the North Carolina DOT’s Division of Aviation hangar located on the Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDU) on Friday.

This year’s event honored the family of fallen soldiers, just days before Veteran’s Day. All 30 students in this session were from Gold Star Families – the immediate family of service members who died while serving in a war or other conflict. For the first time, the program featured a session on drones as part of National Drone Safety Awareness Week. 

Students were able to build a Stratux, an open-source portable ADS-B receiver using a Raspberry Pi. Once constructed, the students were able to attach the device to an IPad and track aircraft in the area. Students also had the opportunity to visit the RDU Air Traffic Control Tower.