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I have a R820 USB SDR and I am using ADS-B to track aircraft flying near my home. I know I could also use ACARS to track nearby aircraft. Are there any other aircraft signals I can monitor (doesn't necessarily have to give aircraft location, just info)?

Thanks!

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you including VHF radio in "other signals"? Although listening to radio traffic isn't legal everywhere. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Dec 8 '14 at 1:27
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, listening to pilot <-> ATC would be cool. Do you know the freqs? $\endgroup$ – biggs Dec 8 '14 at 2:22
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    $\begingroup$ Radio comms is a large topic by itself. The aviation band is 108-137Mhz (navigation beacons and voice) and there are lots of frequencies in use depending on where you are and who's talking. You might want to research this and then come back with some specific questions; LiveATC would be a good place to get a general 'feel' for the radio traffic. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Dec 8 '14 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ Radar and TCAS interrogations on 1030 MHz. You need a sample rate of at least 4 MS/s to be able to properly detect the phase shifts though. $\endgroup$ – DeltaLima Dec 8 '14 at 5:10
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Yes, there is other signals broadcasted by aircraft, although not by all. In the General Aviation sector, at least in Europe, an on-board device known as FLARM is being used mostly in Gliders, Helicopters, Single-Engine Piston aircraft and touring motor gliders.

FLARM is an electronic device to selectively alert pilots to potential collisions between aircraft. It is not formally an implementation of ADS-B, as it is optimised for the specific needs of small aircraft such as gliders, not for long-range communication or ATC interaction.

You can visualize these signals using some tools and you can also feed the data to sites like flightradar.


Related Answers to FLARM:
What system is there in the UK to prevent collisions between small aircraft?
How does TCAS work?

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