Welcome to PlaneSpotting’s documentation!

PlaneSpotting is a software package written in python3 which can decode ADS-B(Automatic Dependant Survelliance Broadcast) from the output provided by dump1090 (a C based Mode-S decoder which is designed for RTL-SDR devices).

The RTL-SDR devices record at 1090 MHz and outputs a binary (.dat) file. This file is processed by dump1090 which provides us with the raw ADS-B frames from that recording in ‘mlat’ AVR format(ascii hexdump of the frames with the sample position). The processed files serves as the input for this project.

All ADS-B frames do not contain position information in them. To be specific only frames with Downlink Format(DF) 17-18 and Type Code(TC) 9-18 carry the location as the payload. Thus, the next part of this project is to find the location of the plane at the point when a non-position carrying frame is sent using multilateration.

Multilateration is a method by which the location of an aircraft (can be any moving object which broadcasts a signal) using multiple ground stations and the Time Difference of Arrival(TDOA) of a signal to each ground station.

Indices and tables