ECE497 Project: Local Air Traffic Radio

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Team members: Adam Bretsch

Executive Summary

RTL-SDR radios can monitor local air traffic via ADS-B signals. These signals operate in two different frequency bands, 1090MHz and 978MHz. The goal of this project is to combine and display both frequency ranges using 2 SDRs, one set to each frequency range.

Currently the utilities dump1090 and dump978 can separately output plane data to a html page. This page shows the direction and location of each plane in sensor range, but only those of the selected frequency band.

The plan is to create a new utility that combines the two, showing both types of plane on one html map. The frequency range should be easily identifiable, coded by color or otherwise apparent.

This tool will have many different applications. The overall goal is to be able to set up the BeagleBone with the 2 SDRs and have it give alerts whenever a plane is close enough see. These planes will be drawn from both bands thanks to the utility designed in this project.


BeagleBone Blue:

Currently using these SDRs:

(consider Small Build, Big Execuition for ideas on the final packaging)

Installation Instructions

Current sources:

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User Instructions

(Once everything is installed, how do you use the program? Give details here, so if you have a long user manual, link to it here.)


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Theory of Operation

Dump1090 and dump978 are seperate programs that us a RTL-SDR usb dongle to look at a band of air traffic radio. The software will combine the outputs of these two radios into a new utility that combines both and identifies them. This display will show the different bands as different colors.

Whenever a plane is detected close enough to the radios, a buzzer or alarm will go of as an alert. This is so you can find the planes in the sky, or identify planes from a nearby air traffic.

Work Breakdown

Done: Installed dump1090 - 10/22/17 Tested dump1090 -10/22/17 Installed dump978 - 10/29/17 Tested dump978 - 10/29/17

To be done: Analyze dump1090 source - 11/2/17 Analyze dump978 source - 11/2/17 Combine code dump 1090 and dump978 - 11/7/17 Combine display outputs - 11/3/17

Future Work

Could add twitter interface to send alerts over the Internet.



0 = Missing, 5=OK, 10=Wow!

00 Executive Summary
00 Installation Instructions 
00 User Instructions
00 Highlights
00 Theory of Operation
00 Work Breakdown
00 Future Work
00 Conclusions
00 Demo
00 Late
Score:  /100

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