Tagged: vdl2

Feeding the dump1090 Aircraft Database with VDLM2DEC

For ADS-B decoding, dump1090 is an RTL-SDR compatible program that is commonly used. In order to provide information about the aircraft being detected (e.g. icao24 hex address, registration/tail number and sometimes the type of aircraft like A380), dump1090 uses an offline database. Unfortunately this database has not been maintained in a very long time, so it is now out of date, and so cannot display information about many aircraft.

Recently Thierry had the idea to use the data from VDL2 aircraft transmissions to update his dump1090 database. VDL2 is a short data messaging system used by aircraft that will eventually replace the older ACARS messaging system. With an RTL-SDR and vdlm2dec decoder, the VDL2 signal which broadcasts at around 136 MHz can be received and decoded.

Contained within the data is the icao24 hex address and registration/tail number. By collecting this VDL2 data over a number of days, a new database can be generated which can then be imported into the dump1090 database. It however, doesn't seem to acquire aircraft type data.

An aircraft registration/tail number displayed on the fuselage.
An aircraft registration/tail number displayed on the fuselage. Image source: Wikipedia

Receiving VDL2 with MultiPSK and an RTL-SDR

Over on YouTube user Frank K2NCC has posted a video showing the reception of VDL2 (VHF Data Link mode 2). He uses MultiPSK to receive and decode VDL2 signals and VDL2-Display to nicely display the received messages.

VDL2 is a transmission mode used on aircraft for sending short messages, position data (similar to ADS-B) and also for allowing traffic controllers to communicate to pilots via text and data. Earlier we has a post about a VDL2 reception tutorial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWlUY8Mm0p4