Updated RTL1090 – more planes on your SDR based virtual radar

A few days ago, I noticed some mention about a new version of the RTL1090 program. This is Windows software which you can run on your PC in conjunction with the RTL-SDR dongles and plot ADS-B transmissions from aircraft. For a bit more detail, please see my earlier blog post

Yesterday evening I downloaded the program and installed it, which was straightforward. My first impression was that I was seeing more aircraft than I had before. With the small antenna provided with the dongle on the desk in front of me, I was seeing aircraft further out than I had done before with the RTL1090 software. Testing again this morning, the same seems true.

As well as seemingly being a bit more sensitive, the new version of the RTL1090 software provides a bit more information in the List view abut messages which have been decoded, which might be useful or interesting (or encouraging) if you have not yet got the link to a plotting program working yet.

It’s possible that the plotting of more distant aircraft is due to tropospheric conditions at 1090Mhz, but I suspect not! 

Download the new version of RTL1090 here

The other thing that looks quite interesting is that the team have produced a program to interface with RTL1090 and plot aircraft on a map. It’s called Globe-S and can be found here – I haven’t yet installed it, but it looks a nice interface.

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “Updated RTL1090 – more planes on your SDR based virtual radar”

  • Charlie Cartmel G4EST:

    there is a newer version (Beta) available v B101 which is more sensitive than that shown in your image. I have found that PlanePlotter is a much better back end to the RTL2832 dongles + RTL1090 software than that on the jetvision site. It is also much more customisable (it seems) allowing fifferent aircraft symbols to be used for different aircraft sites. See http://www.g4est.me.uk for more details on my PlanePlotter page.


  • K5lLW:

    seems like most of the information I see is from euro hams. I assume this would work worldwide including USA. is that correct?
    sent via Samsung smartphone

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