With a simple RTL-SDR it's possible to receive flight "beacons" which a commercial aircraft emits. There is software which in combination with an DVB-t receiver can show the planes flying in the area.
- Connect your DVB-T receiver
- git clone firstname.lastname@example.org:MalcolmRobb/dump1090.git
- Run `make` (note that you need to have rtl-sdr installed)
Note: On Arch use the dump1090-git package from the AUR
Yet another fork of dump1090 has range support and can identify the origin of the aircraft.
- Run ./dump1090 --interactive --net
- Open http://localhost:8080/ in your browser to see an interactive google map
The plan is to create a sonar like display of the current airplanes. dump1090 kan dump the raw msg (? hex encoded). There is a Python library which might make it easier to decode the messages from dump1090