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: 1861
unidentified: 55 2.96%

Brazil: 1 0.05%
Canada: 20 1.07%
China: 2 0.11%
France: 2 0.11%
Germany: 4 0.21%
Ireland: 1 0.05%
Japan: 1 0.05%
Luxembourg: 1 0.05%
Mexico: 54 2.9%
Netherlands: 2 0.11%
Panama: 1 0.05%
Qatar: 2 0.11%
South Korea: 1 0.05%
Singapore: 1 0.05%
Spain: 1 0.05%
Turkey: 2 0.11%
United Arab Emirates: 1 0.05%
United Kingdom: 6 0.32%
United States: 1722 92.53%
United States Luftwaffe: 33 1.77%
Taiwan: 2 0.11%
Unassigned (EUR / NAT regions): 1 0.05%

Airframe summary

T-38 : 3
Glider : 1
P-8 : 1
RC-135 : 1
B717 : 11
B727 : 1
B737 : 489
B747 : 5
B757 : 26
B767 : 37
B777 : 28
B787 : 12
DC-10 : 6
MD-11 : 7
MD-8x : 23
A220 : 7
A300 : 6
A319 : 72
A320 : 103
A320-neo : 14
A321 : 79
A321-neo : 3
A330 : 2
A340 : 2
A350 : 1
A380 : 3
E-135 : 21
E-145 : 34
E-145XR : 13
E-170 : 20
ERJ-175 : 120
E-190 : 11
CRJ700 : 16
CRJ900 : 46
СУ95 : 1
TexanII : 9
Gulfstream : 21
LearJet : 22
Challenger : 38
deHavillandCanada : 2
Falcon2000 : 7
Falcon900 : 10
Falcon : 12
Beechcraft : 89
Piper : 9
Mooney : 5
Cessna-172 : 26
Cessna-182 : 6
HondaJet : 2

Airline flight summary

Total : 2445
Callsign is tail number: 380
Numerical: 3
Unidentified: 27
Spionen: 3
UAL/UA - United Airlines : 468
SWA/WN - Southwest Airlines : 310
ASH/YV - Mesa Airlines : 255
ASQ/EV - ExpressJet Airlines : 167
AAL/AA - American Airlines : 157
DAL/DL - Delta Air Lines : 113
RPA/RW - Republic Airlines : 81
NKS/NK - Spirit Airlines : 58
SKW/OO - SkyWest : 57
ENY/MQ - Envoy Air : 36
FDX/FX - Federal Express : 34
JBU/B6 - JetBlue Airways : 27
UPS/5X - United Parcel Service : 26
SLI/5D - AeroMexico Connect : 17
AMX/AM - AeroMéxico : 17
FFT/F9 - Frontier Airlines : 17
VOI/Y4 - Volaris : 17
AIJ/4O - Interjet ABC : 17
GTI/5Y - Atlas Air : 12
ASA/AS - Alaska Airlines : 9
EJA/1I - NetJets : 9
BAW/BA - British Airways : 7
LXJ/ - Flexjet : 6
SKV/RS - Sky Regional Airlines : 6
EDV/9E - Endeavor Air : 6
AAY/G4 - Allegiant Air : 5
XSR/ - Executive AirShare : 5
DLH/LH - Lufthansa : 4
WJA/WS - WestJet : 4
AFR/AF - Air France : 3
JZA/QK - Air Canada Jazz : 3
KLM/KL - KLM Royal Dutch Airlines : 3
CKS/K4 - Kalitta Air : 3
QTR/QR - Qatar Airways : 3
THY/TK - Turkish Airlines : 3
ROU/RV - Air Canada Rouge : 3
GAJ/ - Wheels Up - Gama Aviation : 3
CWG/ - Wing Aviation : 3
ABX/GB - ABX Air : 2
AJT/M6 - Amerijet International : 2
ANA/NH - All Nippon Airways : 2
ACA/AC - Air Canada : 2
VIV/VB - Aeroenlaces Nacionales : 2
CCA/CA - Air China International : 2
BVN/ - Baron Aviation Services : 2
CJT/W8 - Cargojet Airways : 2
EVA/BR - EVA Air : 2
UAE/EK - Emirates : 2
DCM/ - FLTPLAN : 2
KFS/ - Kalitta Charters : 2
SIA/SQ - Singapore Airlines : 2
SVL/ - Sevastopol-Avia : 2
SOO/ - Southern Air : 2
XOJ/ - Xojet : 2
TAI/TA - Taca International Airlines : 2
ATN/8C - Air Transport International : 1
AZA/AZ - Alitalia : 1
LET/ - Aerolineas Ejecutivas : 1
RCH/MC - Air Mobility Command : 1
SCM/ - American Jet International : 1
CLX/CV - Cargolux : 1
CMP/CM - Copa Airlines : 1
EJM/ - Executive Jet Management : 1
OPT/ - Flight Options : 1
GTX/ - GTA Air : 1
TSU/ - Gulf & Caribbean Cargo / Contract Air Cargo : 1
GLF/ - Gulfstream Aerospace : 1
RDK/ - Irish Air Transport : 1
KAI/ - Kaiser Air : 1
KAL/KE - Korean Air : 1
MRA/ - Martinaire : 1
JIA/OH - PSA Airlines : 1
PAT/ - Priority Air Transport : 1
LBQ/ - Quest Diagnostics : 1
SCX/SY - Sun Country Airlines : 1
SJE/ - Sunair 2001 : 1
STV/ - Southern Aviation : 1
JAS/ - Jet Aviation Flight Services : 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.