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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  • @kristoffer de jesus you need a RTL-SDR dongle to make it work.

  • This is awesome. Looks like you need to run RTL1090 and it makes the TCP connection over. Just tracked a flight outbound from SAN..

    The only 'bug' I noticed was it takes FOREVER to close Mission Planner. 


  • Can you post a youtube video tutorial how to do this? This is an important feature to prove to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines that UAV operators can see live air traffic. By the way, CAAP just recently required all UAV operators to acquire license and register their drones if being used for purposes other than sport and recreation.
  • Can this accept a feed from an online service?
    My thinking is that rather than lug extra gear around, I could setup a receiver at home, contribute data to an online service and then stream the data into mission planner via a phone connection in the field.

  • Just tried, works great!


  • 100KM

    Given the daily stories of irresponsible UAS operator behavior, any tool that raises awareness of the presence of GA traffic is a leap in the right direction.  It is not perfect, but the groundwork is being laid.  That deserves kudos.  To hear that soon UAS position can be integrated into these systems is amazing.  I share Gary M's enthusiasm about the pace and significance of recent APM development.  Thanks very much to those putting in the work.

  • Streaming sUAS position data into the ADS-B system over the internet from the ground station would indeed be an amazing feat.

    Unfortunately ADS-B traffic data is highly misunderstood, even by pilots.  Even in a real aircraft, an ADS-B IN (receiver) is not useful for traffic without an ADS-B Out (transmitter or transponder).  The TIS-B system does not broadcast all traffic everywhere.  It only broadcasts traffic within a 15nm and 3000ft radius around the requesting aircraft.  Without an ADS-B OUT transmitter, you can't request traffic data, and will not get it.  Unless you happen to be tailgating a 737 and his traffic data response would cover you as well.

  • Pedals2Paddles, I understand your point, and you are right - the Cessnas and other GA are the ones to look out for. However, like Gary said, this is a step in the right direction. And, if the ability to emulate ADSB-Out through what Chris mentioned comes to fruition, it is certain to increase the GA community's awareness of UAVs in the NAS. More so, GA aircraft are much more likely to have ADSB-In (even the decades-old Skyhawks, with the prevalence of cheap bluetooth dongles) - and so the situational awarness on both sides is positively affected by this. 

    I agree with you that it is important to understand this isn't the end-all be-all for what's in the sky, but it's a big step in the right direction.

  • Of course lots of the aircraft at your large class B airport have ADS-B Out equipment. Consequently, your large class B airport is not where anyone should be flying an sUAS so that is relatively moot.  The majority of aircraft in the pattern at your big class B airport are not the ones I worry about having a conflict with at 400ft over my neighborhood.  You won't find them there.

    The vast majority of the aircraft you will encounter in the areas we fly sUAS (low altitude, away from from big airports) are not going to have ADS-B Out.  Most of the low, slow, small aircraft have a transponder older than me, hell older than GPS.  And even new small aircraft will not have it unless the owner specifically wants to pay extra for it.  Until it is actually required, it will remain very very minimal in the areas we fly sUAS.

    Again I'm not saying it is a bad thing to have Mission Planner, just that it is not nearly as useful as it may sound.  And everyone must absolutely understand that not seeing another aircraft on ADS-B In does not mean there is no other aircraft.

  • Moderator

    Yes this is just a step on the trail. If folks are starting to think about the airspace they are in and sharing with others its a great thing. It might mean they check the chart before flying and think a little bit more about what they are doing. I might be preaching to the wrong people. DIYD members are not filling the media with reports of inappropriate flights so are perhaps already more considerate.

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