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: 1326
unidentified: 37 2.79%

Argentina: 1 0.08%
Brazil: 1 0.08%
Canada: 37 2.79%
China: 2 0.15%
Czech Republic: 1 0.08%
Dominican Republic: 1 0.08%
France: 2 0.15%
Germany: 4 0.3%
India: 1 0.08%
Japan: 1 0.08%
Mexico: 40 3.02%
Netherlands: 1 0.08%
New Zealand: 1 0.08%
Panama: 2 0.15%
Qatar: 1 0.08%
South Korea: 1 0.08%
Singapore: 1 0.08%
Spain: 1 0.08%
Turkey: 1 0.08%
United Arab Emirates: 1 0.08%
United Kingdom: 5 0.38%
United States: 1203 90.72%
United States Luftwaffe: 9 0.68%
Venezuela: 1 0.08%
Taiwan: 3 0.23%
Unassigned (AFI region): 2 0.15%
Unassigned (EUR / NAT regions): 1 0.08%

Airframe summary

C-17 : 2
C-130 : 1
C-130J : 1
B717 : 5
B727 : 1
B737 : 433
B747 : 3
B757 : 12
B767 : 24
B777 : 36
B787 : 9
DC-10 : 5
MD-11 : 4
MD-8x : 15
A300 : 2
A310 : 1
A319 : 64
A320 : 87
A321 : 73
A330 : 3
A350 : 1
A380 : 1
E-135 : 11
E-145 : 38
E-145XR : 20
E-170 : 14
ERJ-175 : 100
E-190 : 19
CRJ700 : 14
CRJ900 : 33
Gulfstream : 19
LearJet : 14
Falcon2000 : 2
Falcon : 3
Beechcraft : 42
Piper : 3
Mooney : 2
Cessna-172 : 4
Cessna-182 : 2
HondaJet : 2

Airline flight summary

Total : 27953
American Airlines : 2505
Allegiant Air : 23
Airborne Express : 4
ABX Air : 4
Antonov Airlines : 2
Aviones de Sonora : 1
Air France : 27
AeroMexico Connect : 160
Air Atlanta Icelandic : 4
Aerotransporte de Carga Union : 15
AeroMéxico : 237
All Nippon Airways : 12
Air Canada : 47
Air New Zealand : 22
Aeroenlaces Nacionales : 25
Alaska Airlines : 142
Air and Sea Transport : 1
ExpressJet Airlines : 1401
Air Transport International : 5
Alitalia : 1
Angel Flight America : 2
Aeronaves TSM : 4
Air China International : 22
Atlas Air : 116
Air Canada Jazz : 13
Aerolineas Ejecutivas : 4
Air Cargo Express International : 1
Air Mobility Command : 8
Aerolineas Del Pacifico : 1
American Jet International : 3
Air Transat : 42
British Airways : 14
Bahamasair : 3
Boeing : 1
Baron Aviation Services : 6
Flexjet : 52
CAL Cargo Air Lines : 1
Canadian Forces : 1
Cargo Ivoire : 1
Cargojet Airways : 1
Cargolux : 9
Cathay Pacific : 5
Centennial Flight Centre : 1
Chartright Air : 2
China Airlines : 6
Compass Airlines : 13
Copa Airlines : 32
Delta Air Lines : 1003
Dinar : 4
EVA Air : 18
Eaglemed (Ballard Aviation) : 4
Egyptian Aviation Company : 1
Empresa Brasileira De Aeronautica : 1
Emirates : 29
Ethiopian Airlines : 2
Executive Jet Management : 23
NetJets : 182
FINFO Flight Inspection Aircraft : 2
FLTPLAN : 16
Federal Express : 309
Finnair : 3
Flight Options : 12
Frontier Airlines : 145
GTA Air : 1
General Aviation Flying Services : 4
GoJet Airlines : 45
Gulf & Caribbean Cargo / Contract Air Cargo : 1
Gulfstream Aerospace : 1
Iberia Airlines : 1
Intavia Limited : 3
Irish Air Transport : 1
Jenney Beechcraft : 1
JetBlue Airways : 390
Jetall Holdings : 5
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines : 20
Kaiser Air : 2
Kalitta Air : 7
Kalitta Charters : 2
Korean Air : 4
L J Aviation : 1
Lufthansa : 55
Lufthansa Cargo : 19
Martinaire : 2
Mesa Airlines : 3900
Miami Air International : 7
Omni Air International : 2
Ontario Ministry of Health : 1
Organizacion De Transportes Aereos : 1
PSA Airlines : 15
Pak West Airlines : 4
Pimichikamac Air : 1
Priester Aviation : 1
Priority Air Transport : 11
Qatar Airways : 33
Quest Diagnostics : 1
Republic Airlines : 763
Royal Air Force : 1
SAM Colombia : 2
Sun Country Airlines : 54
Sud Airlines : 2
Singapore Airlines : 20
Saber Airlines : 1
Sunair 2001 : 2
Sevastopol-Avia : 2
Southwest Airlines : 4100
Sunwing Airlines : 88
Swift Air (Interstate Equipment Leasing) : 1
Sioux Falls Aviation : 1
Spirit Airlines : 641
SkyWest : 480
TAM Brazilian Airlines : 4
Talon Air : 1
Turkish Airlines : 25
Thomson Airways : 5
Triple Alpha : 5
United Airlines : 5663
USA Jet Airlines : 1
United Parcel Service : 261
US Check Airlines : 2
Volaris : 156
Volga-Dnepr Airlines : 1
Vistajet : 4
WestJet : 167
Worldwide Jet Charter : 1
CanXplorer : 9
Azul Brazilian Airlines : 1
Sky Regional Airlines : 41
Xojet : 16
Interjet ABC : 230
Austrian Airtransport : 1
Executive AirShare : 16
National Air Cargo : 1
Envoy Air : 356
Boutique Air (Priv) : 5
Air Canada Rouge : 44
Aerologic : 6
Flightworks : 2
World Class Aviation : 2
Jet Aviation Flight Services : 3
Wheels Up - Gama Aviation : 18
Endeavor Air : 82
Taca International Airlines : 14
Wing Aviation : 11
Swoop : 2

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.