After the fantastic feedback i got for my blog post about ADSB reception with RTL-SDR (and Docker), the next point in my list is ACARS.
The basics: What is ACARS?
ACARS is short for Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, a digital data link between an aircraft and a ground station and/or satellite.
The on-board avionic computer system (aircraft) consists of the ACARS Management Unit (ACARS MU) and a Control Display Unit (CDU) for sending and receiving digital information messages from the ground-based stations.
Ground equipment is made up of a network of radio transceivers managed by a central site computer called AFEPS (Arinc Front End Processor System), which handles and routes messages. Generally, ground ACARS units are either government agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration, an airline operations headquarters, or, for small airlines or general aviation, a third-party subscription service. Usually government agencies are responsible for clearances, while airline operations handle gate assignments, maintenance, and passenger needs. (Wikipedia)
This is a message send by the CFD (Central Fault Display) of an aircraft 😉
#CFB.1/WRN/WN1511161031 383100506MAINTENANCE STATUS TOILET
Or something like this
N12114 CO0070 1EHAM REQUEST GATE ASSIGNMENT ETA0447
You’re now interested how to receive such messages with minimal Hardware? You have your Raspberry Pi 2 ready? Docker installed? RTL-SDR attached? Then read on.
If not, start with my earlier blog posts to get the basics: