PiAware Notes
PiAware Notes

These notes are for the lucky recipients of our Winter 2017 technology giveaway.


All the instructions on how to build the PiAware are available online here: http://flightaware.com/adsb/piaware/build

The PiAware software turns the Raspberry Pi into an "appliance". The means that very little configuration can be performed once it is up an running. This is a very common method used in industry by software vendors to ensure consistency of delivery and reliability of product.  To extend students look at another distribution such as Raspbian (see below for some alternatives) and install the PiAware software manually. Instructions are here http://flightaware.com/adsb/piaware/install 

Travel to Learn can help you or your students through either of the processes to install and configure.

The hardware is suprisingly powerful for its small form factor. As an example did you know that it can easily stream high definition video? - a task well beyond standard laptops and PC's of not too long ago. We encourage you to explore the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi and swap out the SD card to try other software.  If you do please remember to get PiAWare back up and running and reporting into the Flight Aware service.

Network Settings

To upload data to the FlightAware service and to perform operating system and software updates certain network ports may need to be opened on your firewall. The details for your IT team are:

  • UDP port 1194 or TCP port 443 outgoing to ovpn-1.hou.flightaware.com
  • TCP port 443 outgoing to flightaware.com
  • TCP port 1200 outgoing
  • UDP to ports in the range 4999-9999 outgoing
  • TCP port 80 and TCP port 443 outgoing to archive.raspberrypi.org
  • TCP port 80 outgoing to mirrordirector.raspbian.org
  • UDP port 123 outgoing to pool.ntp.org
  • UDP and TCP port 53 outgoing (only if local DNS servers are not used)

If you are having any difficulties establishing connectivity please ask your IT technician to give us a call.

The default way to register the device with FlightAware requires that the public IP address for the Raspberry PI and your web browser are the same (they usually will be). If you are having any issues registering this may be why. See this link for further details and for an email address to resolve https://flightaware.com/adsb/piaware/claim .

Once you PiAware is configured and is on the network, open you web browser and enter the IP address in the address bar. This will show you the status of your PiAware.


RTL-SDR is the term used for Software Defined Radio (SDR) based on a specific RTL chipset. PiAware uses a modified RTL chipset "TV" tuner to receive the aircraft signals. The FlightAware ProStick plus that you received is a modified tuner unit specially developed to receive aircraft ADS-B signals.

Software Defined Radio is an interesting field with many different areas, from listening to the International Space Station (ISS) to decoding unencrypted communications. See here for other applications of SDR. Radio signals are widely used in New Zealand for services such as pager messaging and by utilities such as power companies to monitor and control their assets.

Group Links to FlightAware Statistics

Travel to Learn https://flightaware.com/adsb/stats/user/kiwidanAlternate Operating Systems for the Raspberry Pi

The most common - Raspbian http://www.raspbian.org/

As good as an Apple TV? https://osmc.tv/

Classic Games? RetroPi https://retropie.org.uk/


If the students show any interest in purchasing we suggest RS online. http://nz.rs-online.com/web/

The Pi Zero (only $15! But may be hard to get): https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/pi-zero/ or https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/pi-zero-w/

Useful Links