old friend, Jack Wilson GM3KJF, was the man who started my interest
in weather satellite image reception back in the early 90's. Only over
the past five years however, I have had the opportunity to take some
time to get pieces of the required equipment together and set it all up in an
attempt to start learning a bit about this fascinating area of activity.
I am a member of the Group for
Earth Observation (GEO) which has members across the world from
many walks of life and who themselves bring various levels of expertise
and experience to this activity.
below are the areas of weather satellite image reception that I have
so far been able to experiment with. At this time I am not too active,
but in the past, I have been most active with receiving APT
from the NOAA satellites and the high definition digital data (DVB)
transmitted 24/7 via Hot Bird 6. from MSG-1 (Meteosat
- Automated Picture Transmission from NOAA 15, 17 & 18 ......
( A relatively simple and exciting mode )
My APT setup consists of a turnstile antenna (crossed dipoles) and around
20m of CT100 co-ax cable feeding into a home built RX2 reciever. I use
David Taylor's WxTrack to synchronise with the satellite passes, and
Craig Anderson's WXtoImg to decode the imagery. Here is an example
of what can be received, one image that I've chosen from the great number
I've received so far.
- Meteosat Second Generation 1 (Meteosat 8) ......
( The most impressive Wx image reception system! )
I have until recently been fully set up to receive Meteosat 8 imagery;
this normally being transmitted via Hot Bird 6. I have an old 90cm solid
offset dish (from my previous Meteosat 7 setup) at the end of 20m of
CT100 co-ax feeding an external USB Technisat SkyStar unit. I operated
a 2 PC setup, where my receiving PC ran a VIA Nehemia 1Ghz CPU and my
Image processing PC was based around a P4 2.8Ghz CPU. The software is
all from David Taylor and is his MSG Data Manager, GeoSatSignal 4 and
MSG Animator applications. Fantastic images constantly came streaming
in, and I have also created many interesting animations with David's
applications - for an example of a sand storm over the Red Sea click
here (3.7Mb .mpg) or here
(265Kb .rm) or here (298Kb .wmv).
For a .jpg still image (115Kb) click here
I have also experimented with ...
WEFAX - Weather Faximilie from Meteosat 7......
( I had this going for a while but have moved on now )
I achieved wefax reception with a 90cm solid offset dish, a TimeStep
active feed and downconverter feeding into my RX2 reciever. For these
images, I used DK8JV Eberhard Backeshoff's JVcomm32 program which gave
me fine results. I have since retired this setup in favour of MSG-1
data and have given the equipment to a good home.
HRPT/C*HRPT - High Resolution Picture Transmission from NOAA 12, 14, 15, 16, 17
(*C = Chinese) from FY-1C & 1D ......
( I never really got this going properly and have passed all the equipment
on to a good home in the Netherlands )
This was essentially a full Timestep system. There was a 1m prime focus
dish with a heilcal feed and a pre-amp. The dish was positioned by a
Yaesu 5400 AzEl rotator which was controlled by the Timestep AutoTrack
II unit. The signal was received by a Timestep HRPT satellite reciever
and interfaced to the computer via both HRPT and CHRPT (Timestep) USB
images and videos copyright EUMETSAT 2004).