Aircraft transmit multiple types of radio signals, including ADS-B and VDL2. ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) is an air traffic surveillance technology that enables aircraft to broadcast their GPS position and other data. VDL2 (VHF Data Link Mode 2) is a digital VHF signal, allowing pilots to exchange text information with ground controllers and/or airline ground support. VDL2 is not designed to provide real-time positional data like ADS-B; however, positional information is often broadcast, and the VHF signals can propagate over longer distances.
Giuseppe (IT9YBG) was curious to see if he could receive and plot both signals together on a map using PlanePlotter. His setup consists of a Raspberry Pi 3 running with RTL-SDR Blog V3 dongles and a Windows PC running another RTL-SDR. The dumpvdl2 software is used to receive the VHF VDL2 signals, and RTL1090 is used for receiving ADS-B signals. Both output data to PlanePlotter, where the VDL2 messages can be read.
He also added the "Flight controls on RTL 1090XHSI" software, which allows users to view a simulation of an aircraft cockpit, using real-time ADS-B data from the RTL-SDR.