FlightRadar on a Raspberry Pi

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About: Born in Austria. Began to learn coding in 2015. Passionate software developer ever since. Skilled at Javascript, PHP, C#, Java and C. Always excited to learn new things.

Track nearby flights with your own Raspberry Pi and an awesome webinterface.

Supplies:

Step 1: Requirements

For your personal flight tracker you will need the following equipment:

Recommended:

Step 2: Construction

  1. Connect the DVB-T Dongle to your Raspberry Pi via USB
  2. Connect the antenna to the DVB-T Dongle
  3. Set up the Raspberry Pi
    How to set up the Raspberry Pi?

Step 3: Install Drivers for the DVB-T Dongle

  1. Install all required packages
    sudo apt-get install git build-essential cmake libusb-1.0-0-dev screen
  2. Clone the following git repository
    git clone git://git.osmocom.org/rtl-sdr.git
  3. Create a new folder in 'rtl-sdr'
    cd ~/rtl-sdr

    mkdir build

  4. Execute 'cmake' in 'rtl-sdr/build'
    cd build
    cmake ../ -DINSTALL_UDEV_RULES=ON

  5. Compile the driver
    sudo make install
    sudo ldconfig

  6. Go back to your home directory
    cd ~

  7. Copy rules for the driver to avoid 'device not found' errors
    sudo cp ./rtl-sdr/rtl-sdr.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/

  8. Create a configuration file to block TV-Signals
    cd /etc/modprobe.d/
    sudo nano rtlsdr.conf

  9. Paste the following line at the end of the file
    blacklist dvb_usb_rtl28xxu

  10. Reboot the Raspberry Pi
    sudo reboot

  11. Check the functionallity of the Dongle
    rtl_test -t
    Example Response:
    Found 1 device(s):0: Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN: 00000001

    Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U OEM Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner Supported gain values (29): 0.0 0.9 1.4 2.7 3.7 7.7 8.7 12.5 14.4 15.7 16.6 19.7 20.7 22.9 25.4 28.0 29.7 32.8 33.8 36.4 37.2 38.6 40.2 42.1 43.4 43.9 44.5 48.0 49.6 [R82XX] PLL not locked! Sampling at 2048000 S/s. No E4000 tuner found, aborting.

Step 4: Install the FlightRadar Software

  1. Clone the following git repository
    git clone https://github.com/PoscherAlexander/dump1090-flightradar.git
  2. Compile the files
    make
  3. Create a Google Maps Javascript API Key and paste it in 'dump1090-flightradar/public_html/gmap.html' on line 161 instead of 'YOUR_API_KEY_HERE'
    How to create a Google Maps Javascript API Key?

Step 5: Start the App and Watch Flights

Start the FlightRadar with the following command:

./dump1090 --interactive --aggressive --enable-agc --net

The FlightRadar is now available via the IP address of the Raspberry Pi and the port 8080

e.g. http://10.0.0.1:8080

Generally:

http://[IP_OF_THE_RASPBERRY_PI]:8080

If you want to enable additional information (e.g. plane model, airline, departure airport, ...) take a look here.

That's it! Have fun with your personal Flight Radar!

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    2 Discussions

    1
    None
    johgerbauer

    11 days ago

    Wow, this is so awesome. Thanks for the great explanation! I really like this nice website. Have you created this whole thing?

    1 reply
    0
    None
    alexposcherjohgerbauer

    Reply 10 days ago

    Hi johgerbauer, Thanks for the nice comment. I‘ve created the web interface. The decoder which tracks all the flights is already existing on github. There is an existing web interface, but I don’t really liked its design, so I thought, I create a new, modern and responsive one.