Monitoring Military Aircraft with an RTL-SDR

The military air communications monitoring enthusiasts over at have been using a system involving RTL-SDRs to monitor military air traffic through ADS-B. While military aircraft generally do not transmit GPS position information like commercial aircraft do, they are still able to record live information such as the aircraft’s hex code, registration number, aircraft type, the base station location and a graph of recorded altitudes. They also log all this data showing where military aircraft have been spotted over time.

To receive this information they so far have a network of about 30 volunteers running RTL-SDR based ground stations that use their custom MilAirComms1090 software. If you want to contribute, the software is available for Windows and for Linux/Raspberry Pi.

Example of a US Coast Guard C-130 Aircraft doing Touch/Goes and Sighting History
Example Logs of a US Coast Guard C-130 Aircraft doing Touch/Goes and its Sighting History


  1. dogbert

    Is there a way to feed your service via dump1090? I’m currently feeding a couple of commercial flight tracking services, but dislike having to use adsbSCOPE on my PC just to feed y’all as well.

    • wazamoo

      I’m looking for the same thing. I’m new to this and would like to feed multiple sites using dump1090. As it is, I cannot run milaircomms1090 and dump1090 on my Raspberry Pi together. Any insight for a direction?

  2. George

    Thanks for who ever put the Military ADS-B article here on
    I have been having a ton of fun with RTL-SDR’s and the Raspberry Pi computer…. since my interests when it comes to radios in general are mostly for listing to Military Aircraft. And that is why I put together the Military Mode-S page on my website.

    For those interested in learning more about MilAir listening just let me know.
    Here’s a link to some interesting audio I’ve recorded off my scanners from Military Aircraft:
    And here’s a picture of the equipment I use:


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