Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

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Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Harry Dalek » Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:45 pm

A little side project i have been playing around with is one i use to do 20 years ago tracking some of the earlier Noaa American and Russian Meteor APT automatic picture transmissions polar orbiting satellites .

I think Steve asked a while back if they were still transmitting fax and sad to say Noaa 15 18 and 19 will be and is the last i am going to have to swap to the digital Meteor satellites and go to colour :?

Least this one will last a few more years till they decommission it and follow the Russians .

Any case i got my little set up going this afternoon and got a nice pass of noaa 19 on 137.100mhz in the image below ,the IR image in the full download image is a bit washed out due to the heat thats used for night passes .

That's my set up in the below photos should be able to improve on this my antenna is more directional to the north it seems where all those gum trees are !.
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(1.48 MiB) Not downloaded yet
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Steve Anderson » Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:41 pm

Very interesting Harry. So all that's needed is a receiver, an antenna and a PC with the appropriate software. As their life-span is limited it's probably a good idea to start considering setting up for the digital versions. I've no idea what's required for that.

By coincidence I'm also working on a receive-only satellite project. This one is for GPS. Most use GPS to find their way around in the car or record their track on a hike or similar. But I also use it as a very precise time measurement.

The receiver in the photo below outputs a pulse once a second which is correct to within +/-10ns of the UTC second. In other words 0.01ppm (parts per million). Averaged over an hour that becomes 3600 times more accurate. The receiver is the brown and silver square thing on the small green PCB. The silver bit is the antenna. The other parts are a MAX3232 3.3V TTL to RS232 converter and a good old 7805.

The receiver also outputs a data stream in ASCII which with the right software tells you a lot, UTC date and time, your latitude, longitude, altitude, your speed and direction, which satellites are in view, which are being tracked and which are used in the navigation fix. Also each satellite's azimuth and elevation and the carrier-to-noise ratio. There's a bucket-load of other stuff too. And it does all this on 40mA at 5V - including the MAX3232.

With some freebie software (VisualGPS - Google it) you can generate pretty pictures like below. I've attached two, one is just a partial view as the full one is generally too big for lower screen resolutions - like mine. The blue line shows the coverage area where I am after 48 hours. The 'bite out' at the top is due to the satellite's orbital inclination of 55 degrees, as you move further and further away from the equator this bite becomes bigger. In the southern hemisphere it's in the south.

PRN means 'Pseudo-Random Number', each satellite is allocated a number which it keeps for its lifetime. The receiver (the small square thing) is a Skylab SKM61, you should be able to find them on e-bay for around US$20 or less.

Steve A.

I've just realised the photo is the wrong version! I've built a few in different configurations, the RS232 version which I don't have photo of looks very similar - certainly the receiver is exactly the same.
Attachments
SKM61 2.jpg
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48 Hrs GPS Coverage 01-03-2016 2.gif
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48 Hrs GPS Coverage 01-03-2016 1.gif
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Harry Dalek » Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:27 pm

Steve Anderson wrote:Very interesting Harry. So all that's needed is a receiver, an antenna and a PC with the appropriate software. As their life-span is limited it's probably a good idea to start considering setting up for the digital versions. I've no idea what's required for that.


Its very easy Steve to pick them up ! you need an antenna you could use any thing really but if you want a noise free image and a long pass image you have to work on that and use a circular polarised antenna of some sort tuned to 137 mhz . i am using a home made turnstile antenna but the Quadrifilar Helix Antenna is more than likely the best all round omnidirectional ...if you want to track it crossed yagis would give the best signal ....having said all that if you wanted to test the pass for a starter my little scanner Telescopic Antenna on the scanner would pick it up for a while as well.
You would have 10 years i think still for the old noaa APT satellites left if they work they leave them alone as noaa 15 has been going for ages and has out lasted noaa 16 and 17 ! its been going since 1998! bit of luck there's still 10 years or more worth of APTs in them .But yes they are the last :oops:
So the system for APT sats is antenna to scanner set at 137.100 mhz say for noaa 19 and just record the sound or a live viewing and either use WXtolmg to decode the sound wav file (just like NBTV or SSTV !) have not tried a live to computer screen with it yet but that was how i used to do it with jvfax way back when !

Now it gets very interesting and for me i was very surprised as i looked into what the Russian meteor satellites which do images 12 times greater than the Noaas these days and if they were still being received by those interested .
No more scanners that's old school they use USB SDR doggles as cheap as 20 dollars and free software ,The Software Defined Radio SDRs started out using TV usb sticks as radio recievers they are now just that a scanner in a usb stick most 25mhz to 1700mhz amazing ! and for the meteor satellites satellite work over all thats great also a wide bandwidth 150khz needed for the digital meteors my scanner can just do up to 50khz...they use these on Noaa satellites as well easier and cheaper than having to buy a scanner .
I was thinking of getting a newer scanner for work just under 1.7Ghz and have a doggle on the way to try might even go up to the better at
$50 that will do all shortwave bands to 2GHz
That's today's 4pm pass of noaa 19 below by me and what a meteor image is like not mine .

By coincidence I'm also working on a receive-only satellite project. This one is for GPS. Most use GPS to find their way around in the car or record their track on a hike or similar. But I also use it as a very precise time measurement.


OH yes they transmit at 1.5 GHZ yes ? bit below what my scanner can pick up but the signals must be strong as tiny antennas are picking it up .
That's a lot of information you can download from the satellites with your gadget !
I had a look at the program that looks interesting , i saw another that does PC clock to sync to the time from the GPS receiver the NMEATime program not sure its the one you use don't know if its shareware that would be good for my satellite tracking as the timing is only as good as you setting of your computer clock .
But yes good work there Steve one thing always leads to another wonder where that will take you !
These days down here small satellite dishes are being dumped you can pick them up with an LNB for 25 dollars ,for me i picked one up for future work on the GHz frequencies always liked picking up satellites and making dishes and stuff like that .
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HDSDR_20160321_050623Z_28500kHz_RF1-crop.jpg
Todays noaa 19 pass 4pm
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The electromagnetic spectrum has no theoretical limit at either end. If all the mass/energy in the Universe is considered a 'limit', then that would be the only real theoretical limit to the maximum frequency attainable.
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Steve Anderson » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:27 pm

I did some Googling yesterday trying to find out what sort of signal can be expected out of a receiver tuned to a Meteor satellite. I found lots of PC-based software but that's not what I was looking for. I didn't spend that much time on it though. I'll have another go some other time.

As for the GPS receiver above for use with a PC running VisualGPS (for example, there are others) all that's needed is in the circuit below, you don't even need the 1PPS signal.

The waveform shows the 1PPS signal (yellow) and the data-burst at 9600 baud. The data-burst is about 500ms once a second at the receivers default settings. These can be changed using something as simple as Hyperterminal. You can inhibit messages you're not interested in, add others and speed-up or slow down the baud-rate.

The signal levels coming out of the SKM61 are at 3.3V levels (it has an internal regulator) but the MAX232 can still be used even though it's a 5V device. Its input level threshold is only 2.0V so all is well. The input to the SKM61 needs reducing to 3.3V hence the two resistors.

Steve A.
Attachments
SKM61 1PPS and Serial Data 1.gif
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SKM61 GPS Initial 1.gif
SKM61 GPS Initial 1.gif (7.38 KiB) Viewed 7593 times
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Harry Dalek » Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:31 pm

Steve Anderson wrote:I did some Googling yesterday trying to find out what sort of signal can be expected out of a receiver tuned to a Meteor satellite. I found lots of PC-based software but that's not what I was looking for. I didn't spend that much time on it though. I'll have another go some other time.


Its recorded as a raw file Steve and i have no idea what that format is but i do have a link for you which i used those to see if i could decode the images if by luck i could record one of the 2 meteor satellites .
Go to LPPT Decoder and 72K and 80K sample bin files
http://meteor.robonuka.ru/for-experts/soft/
http://www.dk3wn.info/sat/wetter/sat_meteor_m2.shtml

As for the GPS receiver above for use with a PC running VisualGPS (for example, there are others) all that's needed is in the circuit below, you don't even need the 1PPS signal.
[/quote]

For what it does its so simple as far as parts !

You may be interested in these there is a lot of stuff up there ...i would also be interested what you think of the meteor files ...the off line decoder is below .
file://localhost/C:/Users/Administrator ... tware.html
Attachments
LRPToffLineDecoder_2014.09.01.0006.zip
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Harry Dalek » Wed Mar 30, 2016 5:41 pm

Had a nice pass of Noaa 19 this afternoon with map overlay just missed the tip of Antarctica to bottom of New guinea ,its about 2800km from where i live ( the little yellow square )to the top of Australia i think i should be able to do better to the south .
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Noaa 19
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Steve Anderson » Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:18 pm

Nice one Harry! Quite impressive.

I was wandering through the back-issues of Wireless World I have over the weekend (that's how I tripped across the JLB article I posted) and came across a hardware-based NOAA decoder (no PC required). It seemed quite complex but sure could be simplified these days still without use of a PC. The output was onto a piece of photographic print paper wrapped around a rotating drum, then the paper had to be processed. Quite cumbersome.

A clever bod could get it to talk directly to a modern printer surely.

Steve A.
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Harry Dalek » Wed Mar 30, 2016 9:53 pm

Steve Anderson wrote:Nice one Harry! Quite impressive.


Thanks Steve its very addictive waiting for the satellite to turn up the tracking software is spot on i use orbitron ,theres even one that uses google earth so you can get a good idea where its over but limited to how close due to the speed of the satellite pass
http://amsat-uk.org/2012/06/12/simplesa ... available/
But for viewing more than one or 2 satellites orbitron is the way to go .

I was wandering through the back-issues of Wireless World I have over the weekend (that's how I tripped across the JLB article I posted)


Yes i downloaded that nice read .

and came across a hardware-based NOAA decoder (no PC required). It seemed quite complex but sure could be simplified these days still without use of a PC. The output was onto a piece of photographic print paper wrapped around a rotating drum, then the paper had to be processed. Quite cumbersome.


I'll have a look at that issue !,the italian magazine CQ electronica had a bit in the mid 70s as well on noaa pre computer reception ideas ..i will try and track them down but i am sure they used P7+ type crts to see parts of the pass live ,it looked very interesting i know Ralph did some thing along these lines around this time as well .

A clever bod could get it to talk directly to a modern printer surely.

Steve A.


Back then you did what you had to if any one can i would say you could ! ,that slow scan fax paper receiver from 73 magazine i posted on my sstv glow drum build some where there could of worked as well for noaa as the monitor.
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Harry Dalek » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:35 pm

Tried a slight change to the antenna and height to try for some improvements.
Does seem a touch stronger signal first Noaa pass of eastern side of Australia Noaa 19 are 3.30pm today.
And the other is Noaa 15 the oldest satellite still working doing APT that was last night 730pm signal seems weaker to noaa 19 but it larger transmission area might be the reason its also in IR .
The wav file is the noaa 19 photo recording of the pass.
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Viewmaster » Sat Apr 02, 2016 5:37 pm

One can also download all aircraft details. height/speed/type etc etc and have a moving display
as control towers do.
One only needs a cheap UHF dongle and free software off the net.

All aircraft transmit all their details to control towers for their displays and we at home
can receive it too on 1090 MHz............all legal BTW !

Here's a shot of aircraft seen from my bedroom with just a cheap indoor 4" antenna here in
the Midlands UK. I haven't shown the plane details, just their tracks.

I even picked up one just about to cross the Channel.

Sorry it's not NBTV :-)
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Crossing the Channe !).png
Crossing the channel
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Harry Dalek » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:15 pm

Viewmaster wrote:One can also download all aircraft details. height/speed/type etc etc and have a moving display
as control towers do.
One only needs a cheap UHF dongle and free software off the net.

All aircraft transmit all their details to control towers for their displays and we at home
can receive it too on 1090 MHz............all legal BTW !

Here's a shot of aircraft seen from my bedroom with just a cheap indoor 4" antenna here in
the Midlands UK. I haven't shown the plane details, just their tracks.

I even picked up one just about to cross the Channel.

Sorry it's not NBTV :-)


Hi Albert i have doggle on the way 25 to 1700mhz the scanner of my dreams ,my current old school one gos up to 1300 mhz just a touch short of some satellite frequencies i wanted to try .
i read about the aircraft stuff you can pick up with them those things have got me back interested in radio scanning ,nearly every thing is digital these days so need one of these and a pc .
I want to try and get the meteor satellites so i am not left behind when the last Noaa analog is no more one day a long time i hope !
Hers a bit of DX trys this after noon 2nd afternoon pass of noaa 19 and 15 off to the east over new zealand .
I will have a look at your post there Albert once i get my Doggle who knows :wink:
Heres a try in colour also noaa 19 3.4.06
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Steve Anderson » Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:02 pm

Nice colour download, easy to see the coastal green belt and the dry interior of Australia.

Third GPS receiver commissioned, results of 24 hours of coverage in attached pdf. The 'bite' out of the coverage in the north is due to the satellites orbital inclination of 55 degrees and my latitude of 13 degrees north. In the northern UK (Scotland, 55 degrees north or more) the bite would extend right down to the zenith at 90 degrees. For those south of the equator the 'bite' would be in the south. If you were on the equator (Singapore, about 1 degree north) no 'bite' would not probably be evident.

The receiver was on my balcony which isn't the best place for a clear view of the sky.

Steve A.
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24hrs GPS Coverage 10-04-2016 Balcony.pdf
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Harry Dalek » Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:47 pm

Have you tried it Steve in a different location just to see the difference as to its direction range ? need a laptop i suppose !

I am just looking at the digital meteor n2 settings on a program called SDR SHARP ,i now have my radio doggle ,it was a pain to get setup !

Now i have to learn to use one of these things ....... :roll: rather old school scanner but does have its advantages .
The electromagnetic spectrum has no theoretical limit at either end. If all the mass/energy in the Universe is considered a 'limit', then that would be the only real theoretical limit to the maximum frequency attainable.
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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Steve Anderson » Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:21 am

Harry Dalek wrote:Have you tried it Steve in a different location just to see the difference as to its direction and range?

Ahh, you're one step ahead of me. Exactly my intentions, but recording the data stream is the tricky part. Sure, I could use a laptop sat where 'management' would normally sit in the car. but I feel that's cheating, taking the easy option out. It also means either building an inverter for 220V or a rather awkward 17.7V the laptop requires (yes, my niece has successfully buggered the batteries and I refuse to pay for replacements, she will not listen to 'Uncle Steve').

Having done a large part of initializing and reading an SD card I'm reasonably confident that I can get an SD card to simply look like a huge, nay vast, EEPROM, which is all it really is. In time (if I can be bothered) I'll make it such that it's FAT32 compatible and can be read by any PC...but don't hold your breath!

The generic NMEA sentences spat out by most GPS receivers is around 500 bytes.second, if you configure the receiver correctly this can be cut down to under 300 bytes/sec. So an 8GB SD Card should be good for well over six months of continuous recording.

Maths behind the above...1 sector=512 bytes. (One record per second), 8GB=8.5899 REAL GB. Divided by 512 (One sector/sec) = 16.77 million seconds. Divided by 3600 (sec/hour) = 4660, divided by 24 (days) = 194 days.

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Re: Noaa 19 Weather Satellite

Postby Harry Dalek » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:32 pm

HI Steve
So your going to make it very portable ! you could use those tiny sd cards....wonder you might even find a market for something like that .

I saw but lost the link some one was making something like your device but used a SDR doggle and this record sized plate at the antenna yours looks tiny to that .

I am not one for Facebook but this is sort of like a forum in away on the satellites i am into ...notice some one put up a comment on the space station doing a bit of SSTV at the moment ..https://www.facebook.com/groups/Satellite.apt.group/
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