Mark Colwell made a post on G+ last night about this, Mark is one of the folks that if he says something you listen. I immediately grabbed some Beta updates and realised no aircraft would be coming past me before bed time, blast. Well its morning O clock now and the first aircraft out of Durban is on its way. In fact it rather shows the holes in airfields shown on mission planner as Durban is not there. Perhaps its time to use aviation overlays. Anyhoo

Why am I so excited about being able to display ADSB data? Well its one step in the detect sense and avoid chain. We can now tell aviation authorities that we can see ADSB equipped aircraft at range and plan our actions accordingly. Maybe one day the GCS will even take avoiding action on our behalf.

Even here in my sleepy corner of Africa high end modern light aircraft come by from time to time at low level and I see them in advance. As more aircraft are fitted or retro fitted with ADSB the sky will appear to fill.

Its cheap to do less than $30, I'm not going to go into extreme detail. There are pages of how to's out there.

First you need the receiver itself 

3689610459?profile=originalSearch for R820T and ADSB for the best near you.

Its then a matter of installing suitable free software and getting it to speak on the right port.

I use mine to both track aircraft and receive NOAA weather satellite images. The weather images are handy if you are operating miles from an internet connection and you are a cheapskate like me and don't have a sat connection.

I digress. The supplied antenna with the dongle will work locally if sited well out to more than 100km but you are better off creating a better one, again instructions all over the web. 

This contains everything you need to get this working and talking on the right port.

Once you can see aircraft on your machine you simply tick a box in planner settings and Roberts your fathers brother.


What a week for APM (ADSB might have been out for a while and I missed it)

Terrain following

Transitioning VTOL code


Feels like a leap forward.

Once you get your setup working you might want to send position reports to sites like Flightradar 24 from your fixed site. In that way a better low level picture can be built up worldwide and you can look at tracks on an app that becomes free if you are a contributor.  That's what I have been doing until now, but of course it does not work if there is no web.

Mission Planner latest download Site

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  • You can get free ADSB receiver from
    flightradar24 if your region has not proper coverage.

    Not sure about legislation but if a price of transponder drops to $100
    we can have soon Millions of Taxis, tracks, busses, personal cars, boats, yachts tracked via
    ADSB and flightradar24 soon

  • What is the current state of this? Is it possible to transmit the UAV's data from mission planner onto ADS-B frequencies? I am working with the local authorities in South America to come up with a solution to broadcast a UAV's location and this seems like it could be perfect.

    I can't find much information besides a couple short threads on the mission planner feature, but, any updates or information since the last post 9 months ago would be awesome!

  • Admin

    Advanced ver of these RTL dongles called AIRSPY are now available. They do lot more than just receive ADSB signals.  My thought is integrate  FPV or telemetry signals via these dongles.

  • Posted a request in GitHub for the Mission Planner.  Requested that aircraft altitude along with AC icon always display once ADSB signals are injected into MP.  At this moment, I can see the aircraft icon and when I mouse over it, I only see it's ICAO callsign.  I requested that altitude always be displayed, but a mouse-over function allow operators to see all relative information received via ADSB receiver. 

    My thought is simple.  I really don't need to know much more than where the aircraft is relative to my location, direction of travel and most importantly it's altitude.  The icon gives me two of the three requirements I seek already, but no information on whether the aircraft is at low or high altitudes.  If you feel differently please go to Github and throw in your requests.

  • A higher end but higher price would be the hackrf as a great option to use.


    HackRF - Great Scott Gadgets
  • Admin

    Good  work explaining the setup Doug.

    The dongle is also available in ebay for around $10  if you search.  I had lot of fun with it particularly recording multiple channels of commercial /police communication  and testing it some times.


  • Great stuff, Doug. This is why I keep following this blog post.

  • All, I purchased the NooElec Nano USB RTL-SDL & ADSB kit from Amazon for a mire $24 USD.  Although the CDROM provided had other cool stuff on it, I found that all I needed was the appropriate driver and the above mentioned application to get everything up and running. 

    If this will help I referenced my install and testing using a YouTube video "Simple ADSB Receiver setup and configuration using.....".  There you will note the Driver section of the video which is very helpful.


    After drivers were installed, I was able to activate the ADSB# v1.0.9.1 and started observing packets arriving.

    From there you will open you Mission Planner and go to Configure section and check the ADSB check box.  A window will appear with a IP address  Select OK and another set of numbers will appear for the Port address.  Use the Port numbers you have in the ASDB# v1.0.9.1 and select OK.

    Once this is down, you should start seeing aircraft appearing on you main flight monitoring window.

    Although you can mouse over and see the aircraft's ICAO, I would like to see automatically the aircrafts Altitude.  The rest of the aircraft info can be as it is with a mouse over but I feel strongly that its imperative to know at all times the aircraft's transmitted altitude along with it's icon showing location.  Most aircraft fly well above our altitude, but it certainly couldn't hurt to know how high he may be a private pilot or other low flying aircraft we have to be diligent to avoid.

  • I followed these instructions on setting up the SDR and getting ADSB# running-


  • From what I recall you have to download RTL1090.

    You then enable networking in the config, so for example create a shortcut..

    C:\Users\SheepPr0n\desktop\ADS-B\rtl1090.beta3\rtl1090.beta3.exe /30003 /multilat1

    Insert the dongle and then run the software, hit start. Then in mission planner place the check box in the box and it should connect via localhost to RTL1090.

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