Tagged: airplane

Automatically Photographing Passing Aircraft with an RTL-SDR, Pi 3, and IoT Software

Arun Venkataswamy has recently completed a write up about his system which automatically captures images of passing aircraft. It works by using a Raspberry Pi and RTL-SDR to listen to ADS-B broadcasts from aircraft. These broadcasts contain the live current location and altitude of all aircraft in his area. When a landing aircraft is detected to be passing near his house, the Raspberry Pi sends a signal to another Raspberry Pi connected to a camera on his balcony, and that snaps a photo of the passing aircraft.

In terms of software, Arun uses dump1090 as the ADS-B decoder. For communications between the two Raspberry Pi's he uses Node-RED and Mosquitto in order to communicate with MQTT. On the second Raspberry Pi, gPhoto2 captures images from the camera, and then ImageMagick is used to write some text about the aircraft and photo on the image. Arun's post goes in further detail about the code and conditions he uses to determine when a photo should be snapped.

In the past we've posted about a similar project where an RTL-SDR and Raspberry Pi based ADS-B tracker was used with a servo mounted video camera to track and record video of passing aircraft.

Automatically Taking Photos of Passing Aircraft with a Raspberry Pi and RTL-SDR
Automatically Taking Photos of Passing Aircraft with a Raspberry Pi and RTL-SDR

Recording Video of Passing Aircraft with A Raspberry Pi and RTL-SDR

Electronics experimenter Simon Aubury has recently made a write up on his blog about a project he has been working on. His project is the use of a Raspberry Pi with servo mounted video camera and RTL-SDR to automatically track and record video of passing aircraft.

Simon’s project works by using the RTL-SDR connected to the Raspberry Pi as an ADS-B receiver. From the ADS-B signals the current coordinates of nearby aircraft can be determined. Then by using some coordinate math, the Raspberry Pi can be told to point its camera in the direction of the aircraft. As well as videoing the passing aircraft, the Raspberry Pi also overlays text on to the video showing information such as flight number, source and destination airports, aircraft type, elevation and distance and date of observation.

In addition to all that, his software also automatically uploads the recorded videos onto his website. Here you can see the latest and closest video captures his system has performed.

[Discovered on Hackaday]

Raspberry Pi RTL-SDR Plane Tracker Video Capture
Raspberry Pi RTL-SDR Plane Tracker Video Capture
Pi Plane Tracking