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, Federal Regulation 14 CFR § 91.225 requiring ADSB-out to transmit their position information to ATC and other aircraft takes effect. This applies to all aircraft above 10,000 MSL, inside Class A, B, and C airspace, and within 30 NM of a Mode-C airport to the surface. 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: 2240
Unassigned icao range: 6
United States: 2042 91.16%
United States Luftwaffe: 92 4.11%
Mexico: 52 2.32%
Canada: 9 0.4%
Unassigned (NAM / PAC regions): 8 0.36%
Netherlands: 4 0.18%
Germany: 3 0.13%
United Kingdom: 3 0.13%
Turkey: 3 0.13%
Qatar: 2 0.09%
Russia: 2 0.09%
Unassigned (EUR / NAT regions): 2 0.09%
United Arab Emirates: 2 0.09%
Unassigned (0xB reserved for future use): 2 0.09%
Spain: 1 0.04%
Isle of Man: 1 0.04%
Serbia: 1 0.04%
Ireland: 1 0.04%
Luxembourg: 1 0.04%
Ukraine: 1 0.04%
Saudi Arabia: 1 0.04%
India: 1 0.04%
Japan: 1 0.04%
Argentina: 1 0.04%

Airframe summary

Boeing : 661
B737 : 514
B767 : 40
B757 : 31
B777 : 23
B787 : 19
B737-MAX : 13
B717 : 13
B747 : 4
C-17 Globemaster : 2
E-6 Mercury : 1
E-3 Sentry : 1
Airbus : 325
A321 : 116
A320 : 82
A319 : 73
A320-neo : 36
A300 : 12
A350 : 2
A330 : 2
A321-neo : 2
Embraer : 261
ERJ-175 : 153
Phenom : 33
E-145XR : 31
E-145 : 30
E-135 : 7
E-190 : 4
E-170 : 3
Cessna : 172
Citation Encore : 52
Skyhawk-172 : 32
Citation Soverign : 25
Citation-525 : 23
Skylane-182 : 10
Citation Bravo : 9
Citation Longitude : 8
Citation Mustang : 6
Chancellor-414 : 3
Caravan-208 : 2
Cardinal-177 : 2
Bombardier : 166
Challenger : 77
CRJ900 : 33
CRJ700 : 17
CRJ200 : 15
A220 : 15
Global Express : 9
Beechcraft : 101
Beechjet : 32
200 Super King Air : 18
Bonanza : 14
90 King Air : 13
300 Super King Air : 13
Beechcraft : 7
Baron : 2
Travel Air : 2
unknown : 93
PIC : 55
Skyhawk-172 : 32
Piper Archer : 21
Citabria : 1
Piper Arrow : 1
Piper : 53
Piper Archer : 21
Piper Malibu : 14
Piper : 12
Piper Lance : 3
Piper Seminole : 2
Piper Arrow : 1
military : 51
T-38 Talon : 23
TexanII : 19
C-130J Hercules : 4
C-17 Globemaster : 2
C-130 Hercules : 1
E-6 Mercury : 1
E-3 Sentry : 1
Gulfstream : 48
Gulfstream IV : 22
Gulfstream V : 13
Galaxy : 7
Gulfstream VI : 5
Gulfstream III : 1
other : 46
Hawker : 22
Mooney 20 : 13
MD-8x : 4
DC-9 : 3
HondaJet : 2
deHavillandCanada : 1
Dornier328 : 1
Dassault : 39
Falcon : 19
Falcon900 : 11
Falcon2000 : 9
LearJet : 34
LearJet 45 : 18
LearJet 60 : 10
LearJet 31 : 3
LearJet 35 : 2
LearJet : 1
Cirrus : 29
SR-22 : 16
SR-22T : 5
SR-20 : 5
Cirrus Vision : 3
cargo : 27
A300 : 12
MD-11 : 5
C-130J Hercules : 4
DC-10 : 2
C-17 Globemaster : 2
Ан-12 Cub : 1
C-130 Hercules : 1
helikopter : 15
EC-145 : 6
EC-135 : 2
R44 : 2
JetRanger : 2
Bell 50x : 1
AS350 : 1
H500 : 1
Soviet : 1
Ан-12 Cub : 1

Airline flight summary

Total : 3171
Callsign is tail number: 552
Blockheads: 108
PIA: 2
Spionen: 2
Numerical: 4
Unidentified: 248
309 flights got close to the antenna.
RDK3 did this the most, 8 times.
RDK3 flew nearby the longest for 15.2 minutes.
AAY404 was closest to the antenna, 1920 ft away.
Busiest plane: N11193 an E45X flew 6 routes for UCA.
SWA/WN - Southwest Airlines : 379
UAL/UA - United Airlines : 351
AAL/AA - American Airlines : 278
ASH/YV - Mesa Airlines : 244
DAL/DL - Delta Air Lines : 144
SKW/OO - SkyWest : 142
UCA/C5 - CommutAir : 114
ENY/MQ - Envoy Air : 102
NKS/NK - Spirit Airlines : 78
EJA/1I - NetJets : 52
FDX/FX - Federal Express : 37
JBU/B6 - JetBlue Airways : 35
FFT/F9 - Frontier Airlines : 27
RPA/RW - Republic Airlines : 25
UPS/5X - United Parcel Service : 23
VIV/VB - Aeroenlaces Nacionales : 22
ASA/AS - Alaska Airlines : 19
VOI/Y4 - Volaris : 18
AAY/G4 - Allegiant Air : 17
LXJ/ - Flexjet : 14
AMX/AM - AeroMéxico : 13
DCM/ - FLTPLAN : 9
LET/ - Aerolineas Ejecutivas : 6
SWQ/ - Swift Air (Interstate Equipment Leasing) : 6
VTM/ - Aeronaves TSM : 5
CJT/W8 - Cargojet Airways : 5
KLM/KL - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines : 5
KFS/ - Kalitta Charters : 5
SCX/SY - Sun Country Airlines : 5
THY/TK - Turkish Airlines : 5
AJT/M6 - Amerijet International : 4
EJM/ - Executive Jet Management : 4
XOJ/ - Xojet : 4
CWG/ - Wing Aviation : 4
JTL/ - Jet Linx Aviation : 4
FFL/ - ForeFlight : 4
UAE/EK - Emirates : 3
EAL/EA - European Air Express : 3
CKS/K4 - Kalitta Air : 3
QTR/QR - Qatar Airways : 3
LBQ/ - Quest Diagnostics : 3
JUS/U7 - USA Jet Airlines : 3
XSR/ - Executive AirShare : 3
ABX/GB - ABX Air : 2
ANA/NH - All Nippon Airways : 2
ACA/AC - Air Canada : 2
GTI/5Y - Atlas Air : 2
RCH/MC - Air Mobility Command : 2
BAW/BA - British Airways : 2
BYA/ - Berry Aviation : 2
DLH/LH - Lufthansa : 2
GAJ/ - Wheels Up - Gama Aviation : 2
RDK/ - Memorial Hermann Hospital System : 2
AJI/ - Ameristar Jet Charter : 1
TNO/ - Aerotransporte de Carga Union : 1
BVN/ - Baron Aviation Services : 1
CLX/CV - Cargolux : 1
EMD/ - Eaglemed (Ballard Aviation) : 1
HAL/HA - Hawaiian Airlines : 1
IBE/IB - Iberia Airlines : 1
GEC/LH - Lufthansa Cargo : 1
OAE/OY - Omni Air International : 1
PKW/ - Sierra/Pak West Airlines : 1
SWG/WG - Sunwing Airlines : 1
BTQ/4B - Boutique Air (Priv) : 1
SRY/ - ViaAir : 1
BOX/3S - Aerologic : 1
FWK/ - Flightworks : 1
CAP/ - Civil Air Patrol : 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.