Ask : USRP Mode-S/ADS-B project

Dear All

I’m just searching about low cost ADS-B Receiver/Decoder solution.
First, I found most people using SBS-1/RadarBox. They need to use
propietary BaseStation software.
But there is pio that looks like have a good progress on handling the
output for linux and OS-x
http://piopawlu.net/2008/04/15/sbs1-under-linux-and-mac-os-x/

And then I found GNU-Radio.
I search the discussion archieve … and looks like Eric have magic work
on it.
So … how is the stage of this GNU-Radio USRP Mode-S project ?
Is there any specific distribution for non technical people that just
want to dumb decoded mode-s message to a console or pipe it to another
program/script ?

Regards
-bino-

Bino Oetomo wrote:

I search the discussion archieve … and looks like Eric have magic
work on it.
So … how is the stage of this GNU-Radio USRP Mode-S project ?
Is there any specific distribution for non technical people that just
want to dumb decoded mode-s message to a console or pipe it to another
program/script ?

Regards
-bino-

Hello,

The code is still a work-in-progress. The hardware used, the USRP and
DBSRX board, costs as much or slightly more than the RadarBox or SBS-1.
It might be possible to do a simplified hardware board but I am not a
hardware engineer. Mode-S/ADS-B has a 1 Megabit symbol rate which is
way above what a sound card can do.

The code decodes to raw frames and the source is under my developer
branch in the gnuradio repository. I need to convert it to use the new
mblock scheme and to write some better output formatters and decoders.
Mode-S and ADS-B are complex protocols.

My 1090 antenna was down for the winter and I am planning on putting up
a better antenna even higher after the snow melts and the weather gets
better.

73 Eric

Hello
Eric A. Cottrell wrote:

Hello,

The code is still a work-in-progress. The hardware used, the USRP and
DBSRX board, costs as much or slightly more than the RadarBox or
SBS-1. It might be possible to do a simplified hardware board but I
am not a hardware engineer. Mode-S/ADS-B has a 1 Megabit symbol rate
which is way above what a sound card can do.

Nice to hear that it’s still in active stage.

Obout the Receiver cost : I understand that, still …
++ with this we can do some OpenSource and flexible solution
++ Hope ettus will consider to produce 1 port board. I reallize that the
price cut will not that big … since the core component (i.e : FPGA)
still the same … but there is a “cut” anyway :slight_smile:

About Symbol rate : hmmm what about DVB rx card … i’m not sure if we
can customize their demodulation to handling mode-s/ads-b … but they
capable in handling up to 45 megabit/sec symbolrate , and capable of
handling freq around 1 Ghz cmiiw.
Arrrggh … looks like we need to do firmware work (too many work).

Thanks for your enlightment
-bino-

Bino Oetomo wrote:

Nice to hear that it’s still in active stage.

Obout the Receiver cost : I understand that, still …
++ with this we can do some OpenSource and flexible solution
++ Hope ettus will consider to produce 1 port board. I reallize that
the price cut will not that big … since the core component (i.e :
FPGA) still the same … but there is a “cut” anyway :slight_smile:
It would be likely be in the 500 dollar range as it would be similar to
a RF Space SDR-IQ. It may be possible to optimize the design further so
it will only decode Mode-S but that would preclude decoding the future
UAT transmissions. The FAA plans to do TIS-B over UAT. TIS-B would
provide information on Mode S and Mode A/C aircraft.

There are some interesting hardware available or soon to be available
that could reduce the coast. One interesting chip is the TI OMAP series
that combines an processor and DSP on one chip. It may be possible to
use one of the on-board devices to digitize the waveform but a RF front
end is still needed.

About Symbol rate : hmmm what about DVB rx card … i’m not sure if
we can customize their demodulation to handling mode-s/ads-b … but
they capable in handling up to 45 megabit/sec symbolrate , and capable
of handling freq around 1 Ghz cmiiw.
Arrrggh … looks like we need to do firmware work (too many work).

Thanks for your enlightment
-bino-

DVB receivers cover the same frequency range but are designed for larger
signal levels from the LNB. DVB uses QPSK. Newer receivers have front
end chips that take the RF and output the digital mpeg transport
stream. The DVB Rx board for the USRP uses a DVB tuner chip but it is
preceded by an amplifier. Some Video Cards do have an extra ADC that
may be useful but you need more components for a complete system.

Another avenue is alternate firmware for the SBS-1 or Radarbox much like
the Rockbox project for MP3 players. I suspect that both units use soft
microprocessors in the FPGAs.

I try to keep track of hardware as does several others so if there is a
lower cost solution it will be found.

73 Eric

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