I want to design a long-range ADS-B receiver with a directional antenna (like a Yagi), but in order to maximize its range, I'll need to orient the antenna towards a target (plane) based on existing data from external sources like FR24. I can easily find latitude longitude and altitude data for planes, but how do I convert these values into polar and azimuth angles that I can orient my antenna towards? Essentially, I need to calculate the line of sight my antenna needs to point at in order to make contact with the plane with the antenna's main radiation lobe. Does anyone know I could go about doing this?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm puzzled. FR24 use a network of ADS-B receivers around the world to gather most of their data. If you're proposing to use their data to orient your antenna, what do you hope to get that isn't already available from FR24? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 29, 2020 at 21:10
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    $\begingroup$ This isn't a question about aviation. It's about electrical and software engineering for which more appropriate Stack sites exist. VTC. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 0:45
  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand why you'd want to use a directional antenna with a directionless technology. If you know it's there already why would you need data from it? ADS-B is about what you don't know is there. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 7:51

1 Answer 1


Here's javascript source code with a detailed explanation, too long to paste into a standalone answer, but by the time this goes offline certainly a dozen more will appear if they haven't already.

Online calculator for the same:


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