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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  • Moderator

    Its all over here now Morli be sure to click beta updates.

  • Admin

    Where is the Mission planner download ? Should it not be up there some where( may be in arduplane drop down menu) so that we can download it? Or in this blog as link? thanks

  • is it possible to set the IP address of the ADSB software to anything other than localhost?
  • Thanks @Pedals, I didn't understand how the ground part of it worked. Interesting, but also less useful than I hoped. Air to Air part is the bit I care about - I guess because I am a fully distributed type of thinker - no single point of failure or anything :-)

  • Scott, what you describe is how the Air-to-Air portion of ADS-B works, which is the same way it would work on the ground for us.  An aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out transmits it's data, and is directly received by ADS-B receivers.  No ground based radar or transceivers are needed.  The downfall as I've pointed out is that you only receive aircraft actually equipped with an ADS-B out transmitter.  This is very very few small aircraft in the USA, and those are the ones we conflict with the most.

    The other component of the ADS-B system is FIS-B and TIS-B.  Flight Information Service Broadcast and Traffic Information Service Broadcast.  FIS-B contains weather, notam, and other useful data.  This data is constantly broadcast from ground based radio towers.  Anyone with an ADS-B receiver can pick it up and have live weather and flight service information on their displays.

    TIS-B broadcasts traffic data that includes both ADS-B and radar based traffic.  Literally everything a controller can see on their screen.  This is also broadcast from radio towers on the ground, which any ADS-B receiver in the air can pick up, giving them live complete traffic.  However, there is a catch to this.  It will only send traffic data within a 15 mile and 3000ft radius around an ADS-B Out equipped aircraft.  It does not blindly transmit all traffic everywhere all the time due to the amount of bandwidth it would take up.  So if you have ADS-B Out, it will send you live complete everything traffic data.  It's amazing.  But if you have ADS-B in only, you will only benefit from TIS-B if you happen to be tailgating an aircraft that happens to have ADS-B Out.

  • I am a glider pilot. We do not carry ADSB, nor does balloons, ultra lights, private planes, small commercial planes, crop dusters, micro lights, parachutes, paragliders, hang gliders - etc. The vast majority of sky uses.

    And yet... I say HORRAY. This is a great step forward. Yeah it won't show other people around but well done integrating this data.

    I don't understand though the Virtual ADSB part  @chris mentions. How is a local plane going to see that without it being transmitted. ADSB picks up local transmitted data independent of central systems. Maybe the virtual ADSB can only be seen by tower operators, or maybe re-transmitted back out - still, big step in the right direction.

    I see a future - don't want to argue with if this is good or bad - where all air traffic will have some form of transponder. But when I say all - there has to be some limit - paper planes? helium balloons? Clearly the majority of UAV do not need a transponder - maybe it is weight based?

    In the gliding world the most popular system we use is called FLARM. It is way better for collision avoidance than ADSB, but short range. On the other hand ADSB is power hungry. Did you know that the majority of ADSB transponders literally transmit position, and do not listen. This is because the computers to calculate the avoidance part is in big planes - while little planes have transmitters only. It is all about protecting the big ones.

    I see the time when this stuff merges though.

  • Admin

    Good to hear that ADSB  awareness is catching up  at DiyD  too.   Like Gary pointed out here, it is easy to receive ADSB signals very cheaply using R820 dongles.  The stock antenna is a dud,  helps if you use outdoor antenna with LMR200 cable feed upto 15mts. My station covers range of 250-280 k.m regularly.   ADSB out is another story all together.  Like paddle pointed out,  GA lag far behind in ADSB implementation.  GA is also the segment we need to worry of any collision/conflicts. All light AC I have flown in except one did not have S mode transponder. 

    However having ADSB data integrated into mission planner/ GCS software is great step ahead.

  • Working great here. ! good work !


  • So now the next question is.. Could we talk Flight Radar 24 allow us to feed not only ADS-B data for that location, but our drones location as well? Hmmm.. Of course that'd require a network connection. Which can be solved by a portable hotspot or tethering. 

  • @chris
    A secure webservice would be perfect to publish data, say at 0.5hz update.

    The noo-Z unit is great for the cost, we've been using it for the last 10 months since we're in city limits. But use only as an informational tool... Also consider all that traffic info will overwhelm you if you're also focused on piloting. We feed the data into a simple collision avoidance library.
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