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: 1259
Unassigned icao range: 3
United States: 1183 93.96%
Mexico: 33 2.62%
United States Luftwaffe: 20 1.59%
Germany: 5 0.4%
Qatar: 2 0.16%
France: 2 0.16%
Netherlands: 2 0.16%
Luxembourg: 2 0.16%
Canada: 2 0.16%
Russia: 1 0.08%
Ukraine: 1 0.08%
Unassigned (EUR / NAT regions): 1 0.08%
Unassigned (MID region): 1 0.08%
South Korea: 1 0.08%
United Arab Emirates: 1 0.08%

Airframe summary

Boeing : 325
B737 : 254
B767 : 17
B777 : 15
B717 : 13
B757 : 11
B787 : 9
B747 : 5
E-3 Sentry : 1
Embraer : 171
ERJ-175 : 104
E-145 : 23
Phenom : 19
E-145XR : 11
E-135 : 10
E-170 : 3
E-190 : 1
Cessna : 137
Skyhawk-172 : 41
Skylane-182 : 27
Citation Encore : 15
Citation-525 : 14
Citation Soverign : 8
Citation Longitude : 7
Cardinal-177 : 6
Centurion-210 : 5
Caravan-208 : 3
Skywagon-185 : 2
Cessna-150 : 2
Citation Bravo : 2
Skymaster-337 : 1
Chancellor-414 : 1
Stationair-206 : 1
Citation Mustang : 1
Cessna-152 : 1
Airbus : 124
A319 : 41
A321 : 36
A320 : 34
A320-neo : 9
A300 : 3
A321-neo : 1
PIC : 79
Skyhawk-172 : 41
Piper Archer : 29
Piper Arrow : 6
Citabria : 2
Cessna-152 : 1
Beechcraft : 76
Bonanza : 20
Beechcraft : 13
300 Super King Air : 12
200 Super King Air : 10
Beechjet : 10
Travel Air : 4
Baron : 4
90 King Air : 3
Bombardier : 62
CRJ900 : 24
CRJ200 : 16
Challenger : 10
A220 : 6
CRJ700 : 5
Global Express : 1
Piper : 58
Piper Archer : 29
Piper : 15
Piper Arrow : 6
Piper Malibu : 3
Piper Lance : 3
Piper Seminole : 1
Piper Super Cub : 1
other : 39
Mooney 20 : 15
Hawker : 12
DC-9 : 6
MD-8x : 4
deHavillandCanada : 1
Glider : 1
unknown : 30
Cirrus : 30
SR-22 : 17
SR-22T : 10
SR-20 : 2
Cirrus Vision : 1
helikopter : 24
EC-145 : 8
R44 : 4
H500 : 4
R22 : 2
JetRanger : 2
AS350 : 2
EC-135 : 1
S-92 : 1
LearJet : 19
LearJet 60 : 8
LearJet 45 : 5
LearJet 35 : 3
LearJet 31 : 2
LearJet : 1
Gulfstream : 19
Gulfstream IV : 9
Gulfstream V : 8
Gulfstream III : 1
Galaxy : 1
Dassault : 15
Falcon2000 : 7
Falcon : 5
Falcon900 : 3
cargo : 12
DC-10 : 5
A300 : 3
Ан-12 Cub : 1
MD-11 : 1
C-130 Hercules : 1
C-130J Hercules : 1
military : 6
TexanII : 2
C-130 Hercules : 1
T-38 Talon : 1
E-3 Sentry : 1
C-130J Hercules : 1
warbird : 3
T-6 Texan : 2
L-39 : 1
Soviet : 1
Ан-12 Cub : 1

Airline flight summary

Total : 1689
Callsign is tail number: 438
Blockheads: 50
Spionen: 1
Numerical: 1
Unidentified: 120
90 flights got close to the antenna.
N5280F did this the most, 4 times.
N5280F flew nearby the longest for 29.6 minutes.
N454MH was closest to the antenna, 1480 ft away.
Busiest plane: N277BE an BE30 flew 6 routes for BTQ.
SWA/WN - Southwest Airlines : 203
ASH/YV - Mesa Airlines : 158
UAL/UA - United Airlines : 153
SKW/OO - SkyWest : 110
AAL/AA - American Airlines : 83
DAL/DL - Delta Air Lines : 66
ASQ/EV - ExpressJet Airlines : 59
ENY/MQ - Envoy Air : 52
NKS/NK - Spirit Airlines : 18
EJA/1I - NetJets : 16
FDX/FX - Federal Express : 16
RPA/RW - Republic Airlines : 16
GTI/5Y - Atlas Air : 15
VOI/Y4 - Volaris : 14
VTM/ - Aeronaves TSM : 11
LXJ/ - Flexjet : 9
FFT/F9 - Frontier Airlines : 9
AMX/AM - AeroMéxico : 8
BTQ/4B - Boutique Air (Priv) : 6
GAJ/ - Wheels Up - Gama Aviation : 6
SCX/SY - Sun Country Airlines : 5
BOX/3S - Aerologic : 5
UPS/5X - United Parcel Service : 4
LET/ - Aerolineas Ejecutivas : 3
CLX/CV - Cargolux : 3
KLM/KL - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines : 3
QTR/QR - Qatar Airways : 3
CAP/ - Civil Air Patrol : 3
ABX/GB - ABX Air : 2
AFR/AF - Air France : 2
SLI/5D - AeroMexico Connect : 2
ACA/AC - Air Canada : 2
VIV/VB - Aeroenlaces Nacionales : 2
ASA/AS - Alaska Airlines : 2
DCM/ - FLTPLAN : 2
JBU/B6 - JetBlue Airways : 2
SKV/RS - Sky Regional Airlines : 2
JTL/ - Jet Linx Aviation : 2
RDK/ - Memorial Hermann Hospital System : 2
AJI/ - Ameristar Jet Charter : 1
AMF/A8 - Ameriflight : 1
CJT/W8 - Cargojet Airways : 1
UAE/EK - Emirates : 1
EJM/ - Executive Jet Management : 1
GTH/ - General Aviation Flying Services : 1
CKS/K4 - Kalitta Air : 1
KAL/KE - Korean Air : 1
DLH/LH - Lufthansa : 1
JIA/OH - PSA Airlines : 1
LBQ/ - Quest Diagnostics : 1
JUS/U7 - USA Jet Airlines : 1
XOJ/ - Xojet : 1
CWG/ - Wing Aviation : 1
FFL/ - ForeFlight : 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.