PlaneFinder – Becoming an ADS-B receiver station

I have been working with PlaneFinder (PinkFroot), who operate the PlaneFinder app and website, and are now one of their ADS-B ground receiver stations. Having installed the equipment and the antenna on the roof,  it runs the MLAT/Plane Finder client and tracks aircraft from upto 200nm away, uploading them into the PlaneFinder database.

What is ADS-B?

ADS-B or Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast, is a system for air traffic surveillance. With ADS-B, each aircraft broadcasts its own GPS position along with other information like heading, ground track, ground speed, altitude. Receivers on the ground then receive this information and send it to air traffic control displays. The ADS-B information can be used to augment existing primary and secondary (transponder-based) radar or used in lieu of those radar technologies. Aircraft that broadcast this information are considered to be equipped with ADS-B Out.

The information broadcast by each aircraft can also be received by other nearby aircraft and that information can be displayed on a traffic display such as a multi-function display (MFD). Aircraft that can receive ADS-B information have ADS-B In.

The ADS-B information used by air traffic controllers will allow improved separation services along with additional future applications such as continuous descent approaches. ADS-B information in the cockpit will allow better situational awareness and traffic avoidance along with future applications such as self-separation.

Ground vehicles on airports will also be equipped with at least ADS-B Out to help prevent runway incursions.

Here is my setup:

Antenna on the roof



ADS-B Receiver

This is the coverage map of the UK that I’m covering with the receiver, which is quite good given the distances.