Overhead Flight Announcement using ADS-B

I built this project having recently discovered that my house is beneath the flight paths of 2 major international airports. It’s not so much that the never ending jet noises are that annoying, but I can’t help but wonder where they’re off to!

Interestingly, this runs almost entirely offline:

  1. Flight data is streamed directly from aircraft ADS-B telemetry using RTL-SDR software defined radio dongle into Raspberry Pi3 running Raspbian Jessie. I have it overclocked to 1.3Ghz but do not think this is necessary.
    Let’s take a moment to appreciate that today can stream location data directly from aircraft using a $23 programmable radio receiver and $35 computer.
  2. ADS-B is decoded using dump1090 which I am pleasantly surprised by its SDR detection and nice little web server.
  3. The flight data is pulled in JSON over http to a 2nd computer.
  4. JSON data is stripped using kevinabrandon’s modifications to flightdata.py
  5. Announcement is handled with google text to speech service gTTS when any flight reaches the closes tangent in its path of a defined radius

Inspired by (and with a lot of code) from https://www.reddit.com/r/ADSB/comments/5drk8g/built_a_adsb_twitterbot_that_tweets_when/


From left to right: RTL-SDR dongle, stock antenna, Raspberry Pi3, USB battery


Planned improvements:

  • Announce to/from destinations instead of flight number. This is not included in ADS-B message and seems to be a pay type API. I know ACARS has this data, but much less frequent messages.
  • Have everything running on the RPi with a small external speaker. I never have any luck with Linux ALSA sound driver.
  • Get an antenna outside somehow