rtl_adsb(1) a simple ADS-B decoder


Uses a re-purposed DVB-T receiver as a software defined radio to receive and decode ADS-B data. Written by Kyle Keen
and incorporated in the osmocom rtl-sdr project.

Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast, ADS-B, consists of position and other status data transmitted by aircraft in support of air traffic control in order to improve safety of flight.

Much software is available for the RTL2832. Most of the user-level packages rely on the librtlsdr library which comes as part of the rtl-sdr codebase. This codebase contains both the library itself and also a number of command line tools such as rtl_test, rtl_sdr, rtl_tcp, and rtl_fm. These command line tools use the library to test for the existence of RTL2832 devices and to perform basic data transfer functions to and from the device.

Because most of the RTL2832 devices are connected using USB, the librtlsdr library depends on the libusb library to communicate with the device.


With a suitable antenna for receiving the 1090 MHz signal attached to the rtl-sdr supported device, this program will output the data decoded from that signal.


rtl_adsb [-R] [-g gain] [-p ppm] [output file]


-d device_index (default: 0)
-V verbove output (default: off)
-S show short frames (default: off)
-Q quality (0: no sanity checks, 0.5: half bit, 1: one bit (default), 2: two bits)
-e allowed_errors (default: 5)
-g tuner_gain (default: automatic)
-p ppm_error (default: 0)

 (a '-' dumps samples to stdout)
 (omitting the filename also uses stdout)


Streaming with netcat:

  rtl_adsb | netcat -lp 8080

  while true; do rtl_adsb | nc -lp 8080; done

Streaming with socat:

  rtl_adsb | socat -u - TCP4:sdrsharp.com:47806


This manual page was written by Maitland Bottoms for the Debian project (but may be used by others).


Copyright (c) 2013 A. Maitland Bottoms <[email protected]>

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.