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[Project] ADS-B - Printable Version

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[Project] ADS-B - davidfg4 - 2017-01-06

So here's a bit of a unique project. I've been running this for almost a year but I didn't make the connection to distributed computing, but I'd figured I'd throw it out here.

In replacement of traditional radar, many planes have a GPS and automatically transmit their position to other planes and controllers on the ground. This technology is not completely deployed (US will require 100% adoption by 2020), but many planes already have ADS-B active.

It's possible to use a cheap USB receiver to pick up these signals, and know the exact position of overhead planes, as well as tail number and other information. Here's a screenshot of my receiver running locally:

[Image: cc211909cfe0b68544de804b4ef9f350.png]

Where this becomes distributed, is that you can report this data to a variety of websites, who then use it to augment their flight tracking capabilities. This is how sites like FlightAware and FlightRadar get a lot of their data.

Here are my stats for data that I've fed to FlightAware. To encourage continued data feeding, the stats are for the past month only, there is no all-time leaderboard or anything. There are no teams.

Being a Amateur Radio nerd and a computer nerd I already had the parts on hand to put this together, but I believe the cost is around $70 for a Raspberry Pi, USB receiver, and antenna. Less if you run it off of your existing computer. If you are in an under-served area, FlightAware will even send you a kit for free.

If anyone is interested give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

RE: ADS-B receiving - pinormous - 2017-01-08

Nifty! I had no idea this was a thing! Considering there are only 3 of these around my city, and none right next to me, I wonder if they'd send out a kit; I'd just plug it into my folding rig and let it do its thing.

Oh, and congratulations on having the first post in 2017!

RE: ADS-B receiving - davidfg4 - 2017-01-08

The receiving range on these can be in excess of 200 miles. (It's primarily limited the the curvature of the earth, although having a poor antenna or positioning can further limit it.) So having a few receivers in your city should already have 100% reception of nearby planes, but more receivers can allow the website to perform triangulation and locate planes which do not self announce their location. Getting a free receiver from FlightAware mostly depends on which country or US state you are in. Check the coverage map. The receiver they would send you would include a Raspberry Pi, so you only need to plug in power and ethernet (or wifi) and it is its own computer.

RE: ADS-B receiving - hiigaran - 2017-12-13

For some reason, this thread completely missed me. Only just read it now, since I'm looking through older threads. Went ahead and requested one, just to see if I'd qualify for a freebie. Probably not, since Dubai already has a few receivers, but whatever.

EDIT: Yeah, rejected. Oh well.