How long will the rain last?

Want to know how long the rain is going to last? Simple- pop out to the shed and build yourself a weather satellite antenna from the bits that you can find. [OK – there may be easier ways of finding out, but this looks far more fun!]

 

Circling above your head the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have satellites constantly broadcasting back data and pictures using APT on ~137MHz. There is nothing to stop you receiving these images yourself and, like Simon,¬†you can build a ‘quadrifilar helicoidal’ antenna with some plumbing supplies and the help of this great online calculator.

Connected to the antenna were an RTL-SDR dongle and a computer running gpredict to track the satellite, gqrx to handle reception, and wxtoimg to do the APT image decoding.

Next up? Let’s add a SatNOGS ground station to roof of rLab!