SDR – ADS-B Decoding: RTL1090 (Windows)



RTL1090 is  a program that will automatically decode ADS-B signals that are commonly found on the 1090MHz frequency.  Alternatively known as Mode S, ADS-B allows a variety of types of data to be sent from the transponder, including:

  • ICAO aircraft code (the tail number of the plane can be obtained from this)
  • Flight Number
  • Altitude
  • Location (Longitude and Latitude)
  • Heading

Using this software on Windows from the picture above we can clearly see data identifying RyanAir and EasyJet Flights.  The software also supports network streaming so you can insert the data into visualisation programs like PlanePlotter .

In-order to get RTL1090 to function correctly, you need to have previously install SDR# (If you have not done this yet, I urge you to read our earlier SDR: Software Defined Radio blog post), simply place the executable in the same directory, double-click, and your ready to go.

I was recently staying in Bristol, here are a few pictures of some planes moving through the sky.  These were captured from inside my hotel room on a Skyscanner antenna from Maplin.  With better roof access and a better antenna I probably could have captured more plane signals.


UPDATE: Here is another shot, from our Aylesbury Office: