Use Fitlet and RTL-SDR Dongle to Track Aircraft - Real Time

Application notes using fitlet. Credit goes to user Hassellbear for publishing more than enough cool application notes to justify a dedicated sub-forum.

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hassellbear
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 12:25 pm

Use Fitlet and RTL-SDR Dongle to Track Aircraft - Real Time

Post by hassellbear »

Overview

Multiple software packages exist which allow real-time tracking of aircraft equipped with ADS-B transponders. While not all aircraft are presently equipped with ADS-B equipment, many are, and more are coming on line over time. Using a RTL-SDR broadband receiver dongle and the software package, dump1090, Fitlet can track ADS-B equipped aircraft.

For information on using the RTL-SDR broadband receiver dongle with Fitlet, see:

https://www.fit-pc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=142&t=5717




Theory of Operation

The acronym ADSB stands for Automatic Dependence Surveillance Broadcast. Airborne ADSB systems operate by determining the aircraft's position using Global Navigation Satellite Systems (Galileo, GLONASS,GPS, etc.) and then broadcasting data including items such as position, speed, heading, altitude, flight number, etc. Recipients of ADSB data include ground stations and other aircraft.

ADSB data links operate at either 978 MHz or more commonly at 1090 MHz. We will concentrate on the 1090 MHz broadcasts.
ADSB_System.jpg
ADSB_System.jpg (147.94 KiB) Viewed 6113 times
ADSB_Data.jpg
ADSB_Data.jpg (35.71 KiB) Viewed 6113 times



Hardware

1. Fitlet
2. RTL-SDR USB dongle
3. Antenna
dump1090_hardware.jpeg
dump1090_hardware.jpeg (47.3 KiB) Viewed 6113 times



Software
1. rtl-sdr
2. dump1090




Software Installation

1. For rtl-sdr package installation refer to:

ttps://www.fit-pc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=142&t=5717


2. For dump1090 installation, execute the following commands in terminal:

$ mkdir Programs (Here I am creating a directory to contain various programs)
$ cd Programs
$ sudo git clone git://github.com/antirez/dump1090.git
$ cd dump1090/
$ sudo make

If all goes well, you should see something like:

fitlet@fitlet-desktop:~/Programs$ cd dump1090/
fitlet@fitlet-desktop:~/Programs/dump1090$ sudo make
gcc -O2 -g -Wall -W `pkg-config --cflags librtlsdr` -c dump1090.c
gcc -O2 -g -Wall -W `pkg-config --cflags librtlsdr` -c anet.c
gcc -g -o dump1090 dump1090.o anet.o `pkg-config --libs librtlsdr` -lpthread -lm

hassellbear
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 12:25 pm

Use Fitlet and RTL-SDR Dongle to Track Aircraft - Real Time

Post by hassellbear »

Software Operation and Results

To use dump1090, issue the following commands in the terminal:

For interactive mode, use the command ./dump1090 --interactive
dump1090 --interactive.png
dump1090 --interactive.png (33.04 KiB) Viewed 6111 times

For interactive mode which hosts a real time tracking map, use the command ./dump1090 --interactive --net
dump1090 --interactive --net.png
dump1090 --interactive --net.png (49.03 KiB) Viewed 6097 times

Then open a browser and navigate to localhost:8080
You should see a real time map showing all aircraft that dump1090 is tracking.



This view shows 5 aircraft - each represented by a yellow arrow.
dump1090map.jpg
dump1090map.jpg (243.79 KiB) Viewed 6097 times
Last edited by hassellbear on Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

hassellbear
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 12:25 pm

Use Fitlet and RTL-SDR Dongle to Track Aircraft - Real Time

Post by hassellbear »

For unprocessed streaming data, use the command ./dump1090
dump1090.png
dump1090.png (106.04 KiB) Viewed 6111 times

For hexidecimal streaming data, use the command ./dump1090 --raw
dump1090 --raw.png
dump1090 --raw.png (122.57 KiB) Viewed 6111 times



Conclusions

1. Fitlet in conjunction with a suitable RTL-SDR receiver and the program dump1090 makes a very cool aircraft tracking system.

2.Fitlet once again demonstrates its versatility.




Further Reading

https://github.com/antirez/dump1090
http://www.satsignal.eu/raspberry-pi/dump1090.html
http://landoflinux.com/linux_sdr_adsb_gqrx_radio.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic ... _broadcast
http://www.trig-avionics.com/adsb.html
http://www.garmin.com/us/intheair/ads-b
http://www.ads-b.com/

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