Apr 222014

A friend of mine recently said he’d like to have something to ‘plug in’ to dump1090 running locally (see my previous post for my setup on this) to alert to emergencies in the air that are nearby. As I was getting in to it I realised what a neat idea it actually was. There are many different “interesting” squawk codes, and unless you’re glued to your Virtual Radar all day long, you’re not going to notice. Not to mention if a plane is going to fall out the sky it’d be handy to know to take cover …

So. SquawkWatch was born!

It’s a lightweight PHP script (uses approximately 1% of CPU time allocated to my ‘playground’ virtual server, and it has next to no CPU allocated to it) and sifts through all the messages coming in from dump1090, looking for a set of squawk codes defined within. When it finds one, it sits on it and waits for a complete data picture, and then emails the alert to you.


  • PHP 5.3
  • MySQL
  • dump1090 (reachable by the PHP host)

Download the source code here.

Download the G-INFO database here (late March 2014).

Example (non-debug mode) output here (stdout).

Any questions pop them in the comments and I’ll help where I can.