Meteor-M satellites are Russian owned weather imaging satellites that are in polar orbit. They transmit images to earth in the LRPT format at 137 MHz, making them almost as easy to receive as the older NOAA APT satellites. Unfortunately all prior Meteor M satellites have suffered an early ending or partial ending to their mission from technical faults or micro-meteorite collisions.
However, on June 27th 2023 the latest Meteor M2-3 satellite was successfully launched on a Soyuz-2 and has been reported to be already transmitting LRPT images of the earth.
To receive images from the Meteor M2-3 satellite you will need an appropriate 137 MHz satellite antenna such as a v-dipole, Turnstile or QFH. An RTL-SDR or any similar SDR can be used as the receiver.
These days, the easiest software to use to receive Meteor M2-3 is probably SatDump, whose Windows and Android binary releases can be downloaded from the GitHub Releases page. Linux users can follow the build guide in the SatDump Readme. We note that we've found the SatDump GUI to run well on an Orange Pi 5, which makes this a good portable solution too.
To determine when the satellite is over your location you can use satellite tracking software such as Gpredict on Linux and Mac, or Orbitron on Windows. (For Orbitron, remember to run the software as Administrator, and to update the TLEs so that the Meteor M2-3 weather.txt TLE tracking data is downloaded).
More information about Meteor M2-3's operational status can be found on Happysat's page.
Over on Twitter we've already seen various Tweets about successful reception.
1st try w/ 137 MHz LRPT from the new METEOR-M N2-3 1500utc. So nice to have a higher resolution weather sat back on VHF! Images from I/Q replay in SatDump (https://t.co/A7V0MeqeGE) pic.twitter.com/OMs1zjpKb4— Scott Chapman (@scott23192) June 28, 2023
Second pass of the newly launched Meteor-M 2-3— CO2ESP (@CO2ESP_Raydel) June 28, 2023
This time all worked like a charm and the picture is superb. I tried dual band to compare both LRPT in 137.900 and HRPT in 1700. Although decoded shown picture is from the HRPT stream.
As usual #Satdump for record/processing pic.twitter.com/0XvsPhYcQk
@aang254, the author of SatDump has also noted that he is working on finalizing projections for Meteor M2-3 and this should be ready to use in SatDump shortly.
METEOR-M 2-3 is active, and I have added initial support including projections in SatDump already.— Aang254 (@aang254) June 28, 2023
LRPT works with the M2-x pipeline and I will make it project-able this evening. https://t.co/KcooCvrPav pic.twitter.com/oEy6DouFoP
We also note that a Meteor Demodulator has also now just been added to SDR++.
The OQPSK mode has been added to the #Meteor demodulator to decode Meteor M N2-3. Enable it when receiving said satellite. It will be available for download in a few minutes when the nightly build is done building.— Whatsthegeek 🐲 (@ryzerth) June 28, 2023
Note that some more tuning will be done in the coming days.#SDR pic.twitter.com/DB307Q5ObD
Another interesting fact is that along with Meteor M2-3 the UmKA cubesat was launched will transmit astronomical images at 2.4 GHz. To receive this, you will most likely need a 2.4 GHz WiFi dish, and also a motorized tracking system to track the satellite as it fly's overhead. Decoding of this is already supported in SatDump according to the programmer.
METEOR-M 2-3 is launching tomorrow, and with it UmKA that @HRPTEgor worked on.— Aang254 (@aang254) June 26, 2023
It will transmit astronomical imagery on amateur bands 2.4Ghz. As such, I have added support for it in SatDump just now :-)
(Though note some manual processing is still required for now) pic.twitter.com/M32mdrdtvT