Receiving weather satellite images

August 22, 2022 – 09:35 am

You don't need to ride the Space Shuttle to see the earth from space! You can get live images on your computer by receiving radio transmissions from weather satellites (often abbreviated to wxsats.)

img There are two types of weather satellite from which it is possible to receive images: orbiting satellites and geostationary satellites. Geostationary satellites stay in a fixed place in the sky, and can be received all the time. However, they are further away so their signals are weak. They transmit at microwave frequencies. You need a dish antenna and some quite expensive equipment to receive images from them.

Orbiting satellites are only a few hundred kilometres above the Earth's surface. They move all the time, so they can only be received when they are above your horizon, but when they are, the signals from them are much stronger. Being closer to the Earth the images show a smaller area in more detail. Polar orbiters transmit in the VHF wave-band so the receiving equipment and aerial needed are both much simpler. A disadvantage is that their signals are more susceptible to interference from all the electronic equipment (and especially computers) that we have. In the UK, we also have to contend with radio pager transmitters that may radiate strong intermittent signals close to the VHF weather satellite band.

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imported 100KHz-1.7GHz Full Band U/V HF RTL-SDR USB Tuner Receiver/ R820T + 8232 Radio US
Single Detail Page Misc (imported)
  • Listening to unencrypted Police/Ambulance/Fire/EMS conversations.
  • Listening to aircraft traffic control conversations.
  • Tracking aircraft positions like a radar with ADS-B decoding.
  • Decoding aircraft ACARS short messages.
  • Scanning trunking radio conversations.

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