full stack plane spotting and data analysis

The task at hand is simple. Whenever a particular airplane is visible overhead, send out a tweet with that notice. Don’t repeat yourself with this announcement more than twice an hour, but try not to have too much lag in reporting. The full stack of hardware and software to do this is not particularly complicated to use once you get it all running, but there are a series of issues and observations along the way that add to the complexity. »

Plane finding with dump1090

In March 2015 I wrote briefly about plane spotting with dump1090. In short, many airplanes have ADS-B transponders which squawk out their location, airspeed, and current conditions, and you can pick up those transmissions using an inexpensive RTL-SDR tuner stick and a simple antenna. I’ve been looking into this again to see if I can get a better understanding of how it works as well as to take advantage of a year plus of software development. »

plane spotting; some quick notes on a new software-defined radio setup

A couple of years ago, I got one of the first-generation RTL-SDR USB software defined radio units. These inexpensive devices are originally designed as TV tuners, but clever radio hackers figured out how to turn them into software-defined radios that tune to a broad spectrum of radio. After some experimental use I managed to cook the original unit which in its death throes no longer listened. The vendor (Nooelec) generously offered a modest discount on my next purchase, so I took them up on the 2d generation unit. »