Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Raspberry Pi wth RTL-SDR receiving ADS-B aircraft data

One of the more interesting finds in the last few years was that aircraft were transmitting telemetry in the clear...apparently through the mode S transponder.

In the last year people wrote software to capture and decode this info.

Within the last year an ability to capture the data with an RTL-SDR TV on a stick was created.

I am not sure of the actual history or lineage...

I am using Dump1090 on the Pi written in Dec 2012 by Salvatore Sanfilippo.

The usage ..cd to the Dump1090 directory then
 ./dump1090 --interactive --net
is on his page...but installation I got from here.

I found more Dump1090 usage info here.

./dump1090  --interactive  --net  --net-beast  --net-ro-port 31001

That last ./dump1090 command breaks down like this...

--interactive =puts raw display on Pi with received data in columns.

--net            =tells Dump1090 to act as data server

--net-beast  =says output data in 'beast' format (adsbSCOPE can decode beast)

--net-ro-port 31001 = sets the output port at 31001 to match what adsbSCOPE is looking for

I am trying to use adsbSCOPE (on a networked windows computer) to decode the data and plot it...but not sure why it isn't working...

So far I AM getting limited acft info on the Pi...but nothing is being seen by adsbSCOPE...

...of course I look away for a few minutes, and adsbSCOPE is working now...but seems to be a bit of lag from when it shows on the Pi till it shows on adsbSCOPE.

The two screen shots were taken within seconds of each other, and show different data...the adsbSCOPE keeps data on longer...Dump1090 only displays data it is currently receiving.

Also, sometimes the LAT/LON shows up on the Dump1090 display...I don't know why it didn't here...unless it received the position data early, and I didn't see it before it went away.

Here is how I setup adsbSCOPE

1- since I am using a Raspberry Pi in this case to capture the data...I don't need any of the other software that comes with the adsb_all.zip file from here.

The actual file is multiple folders deep...

(unzipped folder location)...\adsb_all\pc_software\adsbscope\26\adsbscope26_256.exe

Obviously make a desktop link for ease of use...

Only a couple of settings to make it work with the Pi as I set up previously...

First, Network setup (BTW, you can't set it up while the RAW-data Client is active as shown)

I clicked on the BEAST default, put the Pi IP address in the URL, and make sure the port was 31001.
Then "CLOSE" (on mine I have to drag the window larger to see the CLOSE button)

 Now for the decoder select Beast.

Finally NOW select "RAW-data Client active" on the 'other-Network' menu.

So far working great with the stock antenna near a window!

Yes, you don't need a Pi to do this...you can plug the RTL-SDR stick into your PC and do it all there...but what fun is that?


I found on this web page a command for starting a Dump1090 webserver...I haven't tried it yet...

  ./dump1090 --gain -100 --net --net-ro-port 31001 --net-http-port 8080

Obviously you access that from a different computer.

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