Yesterday I was enjoying listening to both Civillian and Military aircraft on the airband frequencies using my Airspy in conjunction with SDR# with the frequency scanner plugin.
The frequency scanner plugin that can be installed as a plugin for SDR# is extremely powerful, it’s similar in function to the “search” function on a scanner but runs at a faster speed.
Frequency ranges can be specified in the frequency scanner to quickly search the spectrum for activity, this makes it ideal for airband as there are often quick transmissions that could be missed whilst manually searching the range
As we can see from the screenshot above, the civillian airband exists between 108 mHz to 136 mHz in 8.33kHz steps. Additional military airband exists between around 225 mHz to 375 mHz, a huge range of spectrum that because of it’s size would be inefficent and difficult to monitor with a traditional scanner. With the frequency scanner, this can be done with ease.
On these frequencies you can hear the communications between air traffic control and aircraft. If you live close enough to an airport, you will be able to hear the airport more clearly, if you do not you will still be able to hear aircraft chatter in most regions of the UK.
Military air frequencies can be interesting, as well as the routine communications with ATC you can also sometimes hear manovours and mission statements, the communication can sound meaningless to an outsider but this is to be expected, nevertheless it is still exciting to hear. Occasionaly you may also observe brief digital transmissions which are almost certainly encrypted.
In the future, I will publish a more comprehensive guide to setting up the frequency scanner plugin and how to operate it.