Meteor M2 is Currently Experiencing Orientation Issues

Russian weather satellite Meteor M2 is a popular reception target for RTL-SDR radio enthusiasts, as it allows you to receive high resolution images of the Earth. However, currently it appears to be exhibiting orientation issues, causing off center and skewed images and sometimes poor/no reception. Russian blog "aboutspacejornal", writes that the orientation of the satellite can sometimes be restored presumably by a reset command from Earth, but shortly after goes back into uncontrolled rotation.

These sorts of off-axis images were commonly received from the older decommissioned Meteor-M1 satellite, which woke up from the dead in 2015. The resurrection was speculated to be from the batteries shorting out, allowing power to directly flow from the solar panels while in full sunlight. These days Meteor-M1 is no longer transmitting.

Meteor M2 proving the curvature of the earth due to it's orientation issues.
Meteor M2 proving the curvature of the earth due to it's orientation issues.  Image source aboutspacejornal.

Hopefully Meteor-M2 can be fixed, but if not, Meteor M2-2 is due to be launched on July 5 which should also have an LRPT signal that can be received easily with an RTL-SDR. Hopefully the launch is more successful than the November 2017 launch of Meteor M2-1 which unfortunately was a complete loss as it failed to separate from the rocket.

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The old Meteor M-N1 orientation show 🙂


Meteor M-N2 is stable and back on normal operations
Last year something similair did happen to M-N2, no need to panic 🙂

The resurrection of M-N1 was a temp fix in the control systems, speculation about the batteries was not true M-N1 has no power problems, only orientation.
Last year it was still sending a unmodulated carrier on S-band..


The satellite is dead again now since two or three days, seems like they either A: do some adjustments due to the newer N2-2 or B: got some serious problems