ADS-B Sniffing with the Raspberry Pi and the NooElec 820T Dongle

Chris Smolinski Of and Black Cat Systems wrote up a great How To on his RadioHobbyist blog about getting the R820T USB RTL-SDR DVB-T Dongle working for ADS-B, and listening for data bursts from nearby air traffic.

For those unfamilar, a few years ago there as a small boon of USB “TV Tuner” adapters that hit the market. If you live in a weak “Over the Air” market, they weren’t all that great.

However, the chipset in them, offered hobbyists a little more bang for the buck in the form of a  low-cost SDR.

While Chris’ installation and experiment worked under Ubuntu, and later  became part of his snazzy new Mac app, Cocoa1090, I wanted to attempt getting the R820T dongle up under Raspbian on my Raspberry Pi.

My Current Setup:



./dump1090  --interactive  --net  --net-beast  --net-ro-port 31001

I was quickly aggregating data from the dongle:

If you want a simple web-page based output (using the IP of your Raspberry Pi and a simple Gui:



From the Dump1090 directory; (example: /opt/dump1090)

./dump1090 --gain -100 --net --net-ro-port 31001 --net-http-port 8080

From the link, there are further instructions for scripting the process to run at the RPi’s startup; this  gets you both a client/server port to connect to with a 3rd party app, or a simple web gui without much extra work.

If you’re a windows enthusiast, and really want that Client/server based GUI, give this post a look:

It should connect from any windows PC to the port you defined with dump1090, and give you fascinating flight tracking info right from the RPi with and a minimal amount of install time.

Awesome further reading on the Dump1090 Project itself, can be found here:

Thanks to Chris Smolinski for the inspiration and the links.

18 thoughts on “ADS-B Sniffing with the Raspberry Pi and the NooElec 820T Dongle

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  6. Welcome Hack-a-day visitors! Didn’t realize comments were off, and getting the mention was quite a surprise. Comments are open [moderated] now. Again, this was just a project I cobbled together from others’ tutorials, but I’d be happy to answer any questions on getting this going on the Pi.

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    • Working which? Raspberry Pi or Nooelec USB dongle? Both?

      This search would get you the dongle, obviously, but I’d ask aloud in any of the many UK Raspberry Pi forums, there would likely be someone willing to set this up completely for you.

      However I’d encourage you to try building this, it was all of 90 minutes from set up to finish.

  10. Do you think it would be possible to have a script that, given the flight number, automatically outputs flights’ destination?

    • To my understanding, Dump1090 script sends a query string to FlightTracker, that then calls the FT page that then returns the data via via FT; I’d strongly suspect FT’s API is proprietary. Windows users can query via PlanePlotter but they appear to require licensing, so I’m assuming getting the flight destination data would be proprietary. Best you might be able to to do would be to use a script to ‘scrape” the response data, but I’m pretty sure that would violate their terms of use.

  11. after I setup dump1090 and then go to my browser to open the map . It appeared a giant big yellow banner said “experimental ADSS is no longer support” . I know it works but the banner block all flights and information. Please help me how to get rid of that banner. Thanks.

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