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WEATHER SATELLITES

An 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.

Listed 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 8).


APT
- 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.


MSG-1 - 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 interface units.

(all images and videos copyright EUMETSAT 2004).


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© GM4DOZ 2007

QTH - Prestwick Scotland
Latitude 55deg, 30min, 9sec, North and Londitude 4deg, 36min, 51sec West
NatGridRef. NS 349 262 / Locator IO75QM / WAB Square NS32 / QRA Locator XP37F / Lat Dec 55.29 Long Dec -4.36