From The RadioReference Wiki

ADS-B: Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast

You can find some excellent descriptions of the system here:

This article will cover amateur-level ADS-B reception, decoding, and plotting/viewing solutions.

See this article from the RTL SDR website on how to get started.

Related web pages

Decoding, Plotting, and Sharing Software

  • adsbScope Supports several hardware and software decoder arrangements. (Free) (Windows)
  • Cocoa1090 RTL-SDR-based (Free) (Mac OS X)
  • Dump1090 Dump1090 is a Mode S decoder specifically designed for RTLSDR devices. It can interface with a large number of devices including RTL dongles, Kinetic SBS1/SBS3 products, and more (Free) (Mac/Linux)
  • FlightAware provides free licenses for PlanePlotter (above) in exchange for feeding data to FlightAware. Users receive free premium accounts and can track ADS-B participation (Free) (Windows, Linux, Raspberry Pi (based on dump1090), and Android)
  • Flightradar24 Users are entitled to a Premium account on the Flightradar24 tracking site in exchange for sharing ADS-B data. ADS-B data is sent to their servers, and is plotted on their web site on a Google-based map. Users in sparse coverage areas may be eligible to receive ADS-B monitoring equipment from Flightradar24 in exchange for an agreement to share ADS-B data. (Free) (iOS, Android)
  • Modesdeco
  • MultiPSK Includes mode s ADS-B
  • PlanePlotter RTL-SDR and multiple receivers supported. Plots, shares, and can feed other software. The de facto standard software package for decoding ACARS/ADS-B/Mode S/HF Selcal, sharing, plotting, alerting, multilateration, and Beamfinding. (Free for 30 days, then Paid. Free licenses available via FlightAware) (Windows)
  • Virtual Radar Server Decodes from several ADS-B receivers or can accept networked data feed. Serves a Google Maps-based display of aircraft positions and flight list. (Free) (Windows)

For other RTL-SDR solutions, see the Big List of RTL-SDR Supported Software. Some of the packages listed here may work with other SDR hardware.

Hardware Decoders

There are several professional ADS-B receivers on the market for use by pilots and commercial enterprises, too many to list here. These are just a sample.

Mailing Lists / Social

Facebook reflectors