Mode-S Beast:Features

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A list of features of the Mode-S Beast

ADS-B Decoding

Decoded frame types: DF-0, DF-4, DF-5, DF-11, DF-16, DF-17, DF-18, DF-20 and DF-21

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 FTDI driver, COAA PlanePlotter on the PC, do a few configuration steps and you are ready to see the air traffic around you.

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. See Mode-S_Beast:Data_Output_Formats

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

Decoding Techniques

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 specifications.

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.

Mode-A/C decoding: 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.

Configuration through miniature DIP switches

  • can be overwritten by commands sent through the serial interface
  • some solder jumpers for interface selection (USB, Ethernet, Bluetooth)
  1. Baudrate selection: The baudrate has to be set up according to the interface that is used (115200, 230400, 921800 and 1MBit/sec)
  2. 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
  3. 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)
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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 operation visible.
  7. 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

Technical Data

Power supply via USB: Normally the unit is powered from USB. Just if operating standalone using either Ethernet or TTL based interfaces, an external 5V/500mA has to be provided externally.

Temperature Range: The Mode-S Beast is manufactured for commercial temperature range 0°C until 85°C

Noise Figure of the Mode-S Beast: Below 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.