1090 Dump - A program to decode jet aircraft transponders

The above is a Linux software program that will decode the output transmissions from jet airplanes and plot and identify each jet aircraft's real time location, on a Google Map.
The passenger jet aircraft's speed, altitude, heading (direction) are shown and this info is updated continuously each few seconds.
The airplane is usually represented on the Google map, as an airplane icon or a triangle.
Very neat!!

Dump 1090 gets it name from the frequency that the jets transmit their data on, which is 1090 MHz.

Dump 1090 is free software but needs a USB SDR dongle plugged into the computer, to capture the 1090 MHz, over the air signal.

The SDR (software defined radio) is a small USB dongle that was originally made to watch, digital over the air TV broadcasts in Europe.
Some very smart person, found a way to get this SDR to receive any over the air radio transmission from around 30 MHz through to 1.7 GHz.
These SDR dongles can be bought on ebay for about $20.

The main Linux software program that decodes these radio transmissions is called GQRX. You start GQRX by opening a terminal window and issuing the command, gqrx.
After a few seconds a GUI starts up, which shows a range of radio frequencies, as a waterfall display. Any radio station that is transmitting in that range of displayed freqencies, shows up as a spike on the horizontal axis and a coloured vertical column starts to generate below the horizontal axis, as the seconds go by.
You can easily choose whatever frequency you want to be centered on and easily select any frequency displayed, on range of frequencies on the horizontal axis.

I was able to get both GQRX and Dump 1090 to install and run properly. on my Mint 17.3 Distro.
Dump 1090 was a challenge because I had to follow some instructions on a web site to get, Compile and Make, the Dump 1090 and another program.

The instructions, using Terminal commands, used the Git command, which wasn't on my Mint 17.3 Distro, so I had to google search, how to get that software installed.

Then during the compile/Make operations, I got errors saying libusb 1.0 was not available. I checked on my Synaptic and libusb 1.0 was installed so I also installed the libusb 1.0 dev and then the Compe/Make was successful. :-)

Sounds very cool. I assume it picks up the signals of local aircraft then? I hear a lot of aircraft, especially during the summer. Be neat to actually see where they're heading.

And bravo on compiling it. Reminds me of the old days of Linux.


Computer enthusiast, beginner programmer, political geek.

'Way to go, Bill! Never say die! <^8#