ADS-B Mode-S

My tracking of nearby ADSB-out aircraft using my local AWACS server.

Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast - Mode-S

On January 1, 2020, all aircraft in US airspace will be required to have an ADSB-out or UAT capable transponder to transmit their position information to ATC or other aircraft. Since the transmission happens at 1090MHz, is vertically polarized, and is receivable within a line of sight, ground stations can pick up signals from aircraft hundreds of nautical miles away flying at high altitude!

Unscientific deployment observation

Being within the KIAH Mode-C ring, all planes are required to have a squawkable transponder for the primary ATC radar. Unfortunately, most of these planes are invisible without the 1090MHz transponder which allows for a MLAT(multi-lateration) calculation with multiple base stations. Sometimes an ADSB-IN aircraft is flying nearby which will activate a ADSB-R (rebroadcast). The traffic within several miles and within 5000' of the aircraft will be rebroadcast meaning that my AWACS system can now see the ground traffic at major airports as well as random signatures for the remainder of the transponder only flights.

Yesterday's Stats

Yesterday's Flights Last 24h range

Country summary

Total airframes: 1721
Unassigned icao range: 0

United States: 1571 91.28%
Mexico: 61 3.54%
United States Luftwaffe: 27 1.57%
Canada: 21 1.22%
United Kingdom: 5 0.29%
Germany: 4 0.23%
Spain: 3 0.17%
France: 3 0.17%
Turkey: 3 0.17%
Luxembourg: 3 0.17%
Qatar: 2 0.12%
Netherlands: 2 0.12%
United Arab Emirates: 2 0.12%
Taiwan: 2 0.12%
Panama: 1 0.06%
Unassigned (AFI region): 1 0.06%
Austria: 1 0.06%
Denmark: 1 0.06%
Ireland: 1 0.06%
Malta: 1 0.06%
Unassigned (EUR / NAT regions): 1 0.06%
China: 1 0.06%
Japan: 1 0.06%
Balloons (reserved for future use): 1 0.06%
New Zealand: 1 0.06%
Ecuador: 1 0.06%

Airframe summary

B737 : 421
ERJ-175 : 116
A320 : 108
A319 : 77
Beechcraft : 63
A321 : 62
unknown : 59
CRJ900 : 44
E-145 : 37
Challenger : 34
B777 : 31
Gulfstream : 31
B767 : 24
Cessna-172 : 23
A320-neo : 20
Phenom : 20
LearJet : 19
E-170 : 19
E-145XR : 18
E-190 : 16
B787 : 16
E-135 : 15
MD-8x : 15
CRJ700 : 14
Falcon : 14
B717 : 12
B757 : 11
Falcon2000 : 10
B747 : 8
A220 : 8
Piper : 8
CRJ200 : 8
Falcon900 : 7
T-38 : 7
TexanII : 7
Cessna-182 : 6
Mooney 20 : 5
MD-11 : 5
B727 : 4
A340 : 3
A300 : 3
DC-10 : 3
A380 : 2
E-6 : 2
A330 : 1
Dornier328 : 1
A321-neo : 1
A318 : 1
C-130 : 1
B707 : 1
C-17 : 1

Airline flight summary

Total : 2645
Callsign is tail number: 369
Numerical: 8
Unidentified: 260
Spionen: 5
Busiest plane: N12166 an E45X flew 7 routes for ASQ.
UAL/UA - United Airlines : 421
SWA/WN - Southwest Airlines : 290
ASH/YV - Mesa Airlines : 261
ASQ/EV - ExpressJet Airlines : 207
AAL/AA - American Airlines : 120
DAL/DL - Delta Air Lines : 100
SKW/OO - SkyWest : 85
RPA/RW - Republic Airlines : 72
NKS/NK - Spirit Airlines : 61
ENY/MQ - Envoy Air : 33
AMX/AM - AeroMéxico : 26
EJA/1I - NetJets : 24
JBU/B6 - JetBlue Airways : 23
FFT/F9 - Frontier Airlines : 21
SLI/5D - AeroMexico Connect : 18
AIJ/4O - Interjet ABC : 18
VOI/Y4 - Volaris : 15
GTI/5Y - Atlas Air : 12
FDX/FX - Federal Express : 12
UPS/5X - United Parcel Service : 12
LXJ/ - Flexjet : 8
BAW/BA - British Airways : 7
SKV/RS - Sky Regional Airlines : 6
GAJ/ - Wheels Up - Gama Aviation : 6
EDV/9E - Endeavor Air : 6
ASA/AS - Alaska Airlines : 5
SCX/SY - Sun Country Airlines : 5
ROU/RV - Air Canada Rouge : 5
AFR/AF - Air France : 4
JZA/QK - Air Canada Jazz : 4
UAE/EK - Emirates : 4
KLM/KL - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines : 4
DLH/LH - Lufthansa : 4
QTR/QR - Qatar Airways : 4
SOO/ - Southern Air : 4
THY/TK - Turkish Airlines : 4
WJA/WS - WestJet : 4
TAI/TA - Taca International Airlines : 4
VIV/VB - Aeroenlaces Nacionales : 3
CPZ/CP - Compass Airlines : 3
EJM/ - Executive Jet Management : 3
IBE/IB - Iberia Airlines : 3
CKS/K4 - Kalitta Air : 3
JUS/U7 - USA Jet Airlines : 3
XSR/ - Executive AirShare : 3
ABX/GB - ABX Air : 2
AJT/M6 - Amerijet International : 2
TNO/ - Aerotransporte de Carga Union : 2
ANA/NH - All Nippon Airways : 2
ACA/AC - Air Canada : 2
ANZ/NZ - Air New Zealand : 2
AVA/AV - Avianca - Aerovias Nacionales de Colombia : 2
LET/ - Aerolineas Ejecutivas : 2
CJT/W8 - Cargojet Airways : 2
CLX/CV - Cargolux : 2
EVA/BR - EVA Air : 2
FLC/ - FINFO Flight Inspection Aircraft : 2
CWG/ - Wing Aviation : 2
AMF/ - Ameriflight : 1
AZA/AZ - Alitalia : 1
NGF/ - Angel Flight America : 1
CCA/CA - Air China International : 1
RCH/MC - Air Mobility Command : 1
BVN/ - Baron Aviation Services : 1
HRT/ - Chartright Air : 1
CMP/CM - Copa Airlines : 1
EAL/EA - European Air Express : 1
FAE/ - Freshaer : 1
GJS/G7 - GoJet Airlines : 1
TSU/ - Gulf & Caribbean Cargo / Contract Air Cargo : 1
IFL/ - IFL Group : 1
RDK/ - Irish Air Transport : 1
JTL/ - Jetall Holdings : 1
GEC/LH - Lufthansa Cargo : 1
MRA/ - Martinaire : 1
JIA/OH - PSA Airlines : 1
PAT/ - Priority Air Transport : 1
VJT/ - Vistajet : 1
WAL/WA - Western Airlines : 1
WAL/ - Western Arctic Air : 1
CAP/C2 - CanXplorer : 1
XOJ/ - Xojet : 1
RSP/ - Jet Suite : 1
SBE/ - World Class Aviation : 1

You only need a few things to get started:

My long range setup is using a Raspberry Pi Zero and a ProStickPlus. PiZero + ProStickPlus

To improve the setup:

ADSB-in

Since it's more expensive to add ADSB-in capability and not required by the FAA many planes don't have this. Fortunately, using almost the same setup as my home AWACS system Stratux can supplement your electronic flight bag. I'm currently using Avare with the external i/o plugin to connect to the homebuilt stratux.

References and Software

gr-air-modes - ADS-B receiving software.
wikipedia ADS-B
rtl-sdr ads-b article
antirez dump1090
satsignal pi-1090
asd-b.ca
mutability mlat-server
alkissack dump1090
British Airways used this in a pretty neat marketing campaign #lookup.