Flightradar24 : Behind the scene – Receiver setup

The technology used by Flightradar24 is based on ADS-B technology.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS–B) is a cooperative surveillance technology in which an aircraft determines its position via satellite navigation and periodically adsb-flightradarbroadcasts it, enabling it to be tracked. The information can be received by air traffic control ground stations as a replacement for secondary radar. It can also be received by other aircraft to provide situational awareness and allow self separation.

ADS–B is “automatic” in that it requires no pilot or external input. It is “dependent” in that it depends on data from the aircraft’s navigation system.

1. Hardware

– 1 Tiny computer (Raspberry pi)
– 1 DVB-T USB receiver (usually used to receive HD TV on computers)
– 1 WiFi dongle

2. Software

– OS : Raspbian
– Driver : Rtl-sdr
– Decoder : Dump1090, a simple Mode S decoder for RTLSDR devices
– Data feeder : FR24 Data feeder

3. Installation

We’ll assume that your OS (Raspbian) is installed and the network is configured.

3.1 Preparation

Update your system and install some software that we’ll need later (to compile) :

3.2 Rtl-sdr driver

Clone it from git, compile and install :

3.3 Decoder: Dump1090

Clone it from git, compile and test:

You may encounter this issue :

This is due to a conflict with the dvb_usb_rtl28xxu module.
Unload the module :

And blacklist it to avoid any future problem by editing the blacklist configuration file :

And add the following lines :

Then try again :

You should see some planes :
The option “–net” enable a web interface :
http://X.X.X.X:8080 (replace by the Raspberry Pi address).
The web interface :

3.4 Feeder: Flightradar24

They did a script, you should just follow the instructions :

When it’s done, you can start the service :

You can check the feeder status by using the following command :

Here is a standard output :

To go further, you can inspect the log file :

Here is a standard output, just after starting the application:

As mentioned in the log, there is a web interface as well :
http://X.X.X.X:8754(replace by the Raspberry Pi address).
The web interface :
You can adjust your settings (restart the software is needed) :
You can see the list of tracked planes (here in Singapore) :

Happy tracking 🙂

6 thoughts on “Flightradar24 : Behind the scene – Receiver setup”

  1. Best setup guide for ADS-B setup available.
    The ultimate up to date resource to refer to and get up and running quickly when things go South.

  2. Thanks, this one saved my day! Just upgraded my Ubuntu from 14.04 to 16.04 and my feeder failed. Followed this until the feeder download and now everything works just great. THX!

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