A list of features of the Mode-S Beast
- Integrated Mode-S Receiver and decoder for one antenna:
All you need to do is connecting an antenna to the SMA connector,
a PC to the USB interface, install the
on the PC, do a few configuration steps and you
are ready to see the air traffic around you.
- Decoded frame types: DF-0, DF-4, DF-5, DF-11, DF-16,
DF-17, DF-18, DF-20 and DF-21
- Alignment free! The Mode-S Beast will not require
any alignment but still provide highest sensitivity in order to receive
even the weakest frames.
- No doughnut effect - Promised and Proven!
I live 20nm from the Munich airport and I can see planes in 250nm
distance at the same time a landing aircraft passes 3000ft above me.
- Integrated CRC check for DF-11 and DF-17
- 1 bit Forward Error Correction:
1 bit errors are corrected with respect to the Mode-S speceifications.
- Open interface protocol:
There is no secret about the output format, no restriction, no secret
how to bring it into work. Plug it and connect any serial terminal to
the COM port and you see the output as described.
- Open concept:
The block diagram and internal operation is documented.
- One improved miniADSB receiver is included on the PCB,
up to 3 external miniADSB are supported
- The noise figure of the Mode-S Beast
is around 2dB, while comparable units are in a range of 5dB.
This results in a 3.5dB signal gain. The matched receiver design results in
a flattened passband and so an improved quality.
- FPGA based decoding allows signal oversampling and does not impact any bottlenecks
- Noise surpression:
With a two algorithms running in parallel that are optimized for weak signals up to
25% more frames are decoded.
- Power supply via USB:
Normally the unit is powered only from USB. Just if operating
standalone using either Ethernet or Bluetooth,
an external 5V/500mA has to be provided externally.
In addition to Mode-S frames, also Mode-A/C signals are decoded.
Decoding of overlapping signals:
After FW version 1.30 also overlapping frames are decoded, depending on
the amount of traffic we saw an 20% and up to nearly 40% increase of
frame rate of both, Mode-S and also Mode-A/C.
The Mode-S Beast supports configuration through miniature DIP
switches and solder jumpers:
- Baudrate selection
The baudrate has to be set up according to the interface that is
used (115200, 230400, 921800 and 1MBit/sec)
- DF-17/DF-11 only filter:
Only DF-11 and DF-11 Mode-S frames will pass the receiver.
Use this in case that you have a limited bandwidth or computer performance
- MLAT information:
Each frame is headed with the value of a 12MHz counter that indicates the time
of arrival of each frame. (always present in binary format)
- CRC disable:
Normally all DF-17 and DF-11 frames are CRC pre-checked and only forwarded in case
of correctness. For cases that also incorrect frames are needed on the host,
this check can be disabled.
- DF-0/DF-4/DF-5 surpression filter:
In order to reduce the load of the interface and of
Planeplotter, these frame types, which contain only redundant
information, are filtered
- Hardware handshake:
A hardware handshake can be enabled between the interface device and
the FPGA, causing the frames to be stored in the FPGA FIFO as long as
the interface is unable to handle data. A LED on the board makes the
- 1 Bit forward error correction switch:
For test purposes, the 1 bit FEC can be disabled (not recommended)
- Mode-AC switch:
Disable and enable the reception of Mode-A/C frames
- [Currently in work for commercial version]
MLAT counter 100MHz option with optional 1pps reset:
For enhanced resolution, the MLAT counter can be configured to run with 10ns resolution,
based on an external 10MHz reference and synchronized with a 1pps signal.
See more about the options that can be configured in the DIP Switches
and Solder Jumper pages.