A few weeks ago I bought some RTL receivers with a plan of using them to pick up the ADS-B transponders that all commercial aircraft in Australia must have.
After testing these units with MythTV as a TV broadcast receiver and finding that the supplied antenna was not good enough for the job I moved over to ADS-B.
Not expecting much, I was surprised when they started to pick up planes in the area
This was actually very easy to do with a program called dump1090.(instructions are at https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_tFEQ4o1RoTdmtndE9nWmFGUnM/edit )
Next is to use this information to feed into the navigation computer for the start of an avoidance system