PiAware Radar – A Traditional Radar-Like Display for ADS-B, and Setting up an ADS-B Cockpit Flight Display

PiAware Radar is a Python script that connects to your PiAware server and uses the received ADS-B data to display a familiar radar-like display (green circle with rotating radius, and aircraft displayed as blips). PiAware is the software used to take ADS-B data from an RTL-SDR dongle running on a Raspberry Pi and feed flightaware.com. A radar-like display is probably not very useful, but it could be used to set up an interesting display that might impress friends. Over on his blog IT9YBG has uploaded a tutorial that shows how to set PiAware Radar up on a Raspberry Pi.

Also on his blog IT9YBG has uploaded another tutorial that shows how to set up 1090XHSI, which is a program that displays an 737 aircraft cockpit simulation using live ADS-B data. The ADS-B data updates the instrument displays in real time, giving you a view of exactly what the pilots might be seeing on their dashboard of their aircraft. We posted about this software in the past, but IT9YBG's tutorial helps make it much easier to set up.

PiAware Radar
PiAware Radar
1090 XHSI 737 Cockpit Simulation from ADS-B Data
1090 XHSI 737 Cockpit Simulation from ADS-B Data
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captain butthead

A dashboard is in a automobile..(car) The aeronautical term is called a electronic flight instrument system (EFIS).


A round display does not make a traditional Plan Position Indicator (PPI) RADAR .

PPI were used to display the detected analogue Radar-Signals, both Primary Surveillance Radar (PSR) and later Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR). A PPI PSR display would never be noise nor clutter free and display only echos from targets, even with Moving Target Indicator circuits (MTI). For SSR you would see the reply pulses as ringsegments, 2 frame pulses 4 x 3 pulses for the 4 Octal Identification (Id) or Flight Level (FL) values and the opt Special Position Indiator. The width varied with Interrogation Repetition Frequency (IRF), antenna RPM and Beamwidth. The 4 digit Flight Id was, displayed using external 4 digit displays, controller would select the aircraft for which he needed the flight Id using a light pistol.

PPI were using sin/cos signals to achieve that the cathode ray would display the Radar signals from the center to the outer edge of round monocolor Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) in the correct azimuth that the rotating SSR antenna would point at the time of interrogation.