Hi, everyone. I know many of you are eager to start sending data from your own hardware rigs via methods other than or beyond PlanePlotter and we are eager to receive it as well.
And of course the problem is the software’s not ready, but it is getting close. Let me explain why some new software is needed:
Our approach with FlightFeeder is to run a modified version of dump1090 (that we’ve published on github) that filters the data to way reduce upload traffic and then have a second program locally that connects to FlightAware, aggregates the ADS-B positions, and forwards them over an encrypted, compressed TCP connection. (At a medium-busy site it only sends a handful of kilobits a second at the busiest times, although your results may be different.)
Anyway, the way FlightFeeders forward data is tightly tied with a way we provide ourselves to remotely administer the FlightFeeder boxes, and we think most of you would not accept letting us remotely access your Raspberry Pi, or whatever you’re using, with superuser privileges, nor are we keen to take on trying to administer peoples’ various systems and configurations.
So we are creating a new way to connect to FlightAware that’s simpler, cleaner, and more standalone, yet is still filtered, encrypted, authenticated, and compressed, with the same low upstream bandwidth usage.
The server side is working, but immature (and thus may have reliability or performance problems in the first weeks), and the client side is “almost there”. It’ll eventually be an install package for Raspbian and probably Debian and perhaps some other Linuxes, and for the first releases it’ll probably be a tar archive containing some files and an install script. I think this will be ready for beta within the next couple weeks.
As for Windows, right now we’re only in the thinking stage and we haven’t committed to anything. Macs would be easier since they’re BSD UNIX-based and similar enough to Linux that the code can be ported with minimal effort, but in both cases it feels more like people want “fire and forget” systems that they can leave up all the time, and things like the $35 Raspberry Pi seem more desirable for these sorts of applications than always leaving your workstation running some program and wondering if it’s impacting your frame rate in Call of Duty or whatever!
Joking aside, we are committed to this and providing something good that’s respectful of your bandwidth and allows local access and ports for sharing with other apps and services. And as I said, we’re close.