A Remote ADS-B, ACARS, VDL2 and Air Traffic Control Voice Monitoring Station with LTE Connection

Over on Reddit u/tsimola has posted about his remote ADS-B station that is accessed via an LTE connection. When an opportunity came up to install a remote ADS-B station on a tall building with unobstructed 360 degree views, tsimola decided to build the best ADS-B monitoring station that he could, and make sure that it would be easily to maintain and monitor from afar.

He notes that his ADS-B station consists of a FlightAware Prostick Plus and 16-element collinear coaxial antenna. The following components are also used:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 booting and running from SSD drive (Raspbian and ADSB Receiver Project package)
  • Power via UPS (1 hour and 45-minute runtime) and text message controlled power socket (for hard reboots)
  • Powered USB hub with three basic RTL-SDR dongles (ACARS, VDL Mode 2 and voice)
  • Three temperature sensors and one humidity sensor, 80 mm exhaust fan (filtered air intakes)
  • Magnetic switch for push notifications if the lid is opened (IFTTT and Webhooks)
  • LTE/4G router for Internet connection

In addition to the ADS-B station, tsimola has also added ACARS, VDL2, and AM voice air traffic control monitoring with a second station in the same location that utilizes three RTL-SDR dongles. This second airband station is connected to a 128 MHz tuned airband dipole antenna, with an LNA4all and GPIO labs airband filter.

As well as descriptions of the hardware, tsimola's post goes over his software choices and explains how it is securely accessed. We think that this is a very well put together build that should be replicated in other locations too.

A remote ADS-B, ACARS, VDL2 and Air Traffic Control Monitoring Station.
A remote ADS-B, ACARS, VDL2 and Air Traffic Control Monitoring Station.

[Also seen on Hackaday]

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