SDR rtladsb sources

Updated for Kismet 2019-10


To capture ADSB with Kismet, you’ll need a rtl-sdr USB software defined radio. You can’t capture these signals with a Wi-Fi card; they’re very different!

Using a rtl-sdr, Kismet is able to process the transponder data transmitted from commercial aircraft; for more information about the ADSB signal; for more information about the ADSB signal and how to decode it, check out the mode-s introduction.

Datasource - SDR RTLADSB

You will need a python3 environment and the numpy package, either installed via pip3 or as a system package.

The rtladsb datasource will auto-detect supported rtl-sdr hardware. It can be manually specified with type=rtladsb.

If you have multiple rtl-sdr radios, you can select which radio to use either by radio number (the order it was seen on your system), or by the serial number of the radio; for instance:




Rtl ADSB Source Parameters

RTLADSB sources accept several additional options, in addition to the standard name, informational, and UUID options:

  • biastee=true | false

    Enable bias-tee power on supported radios. Bias-tee is used to supply power to external amplifiers or other equipment in the antenna chain, and requires your radio have support for it.

  • channel=frequency_in_hz

    Manually force a different frequency; by default the international standard of 1090MHz is used.

  • gain=value

    Specifiy a fixed gain level for the radio; by default, the hardware automatic gain control is used.

  • ppm=error_value

    Specify a PPM error offset for fine-tuning your radio, if your hardware has a known offset.