Tagged: weather satellite

r2Cloud: Software for Automatically Decoding APT/LRPT Weather Satellites and Cubesats on a Raspberry Pi with RTL-SDR

Thanks to a tweet by @rf_hacking we recently came across an interesting project called "r2cloud". This is an open source program provided on a ready to use image for the Raspberry Pi that can be used to set up an automated satellite recording station for NOAA APT and Meteor LRPT signals, as well as for CubeSats.

The software presents a web based user interface that is easy to setup and view decoded images on. It appears that the software also communicates with a public server that can aggregate and log your data, and also provide it to SatNOGS and provide FunCube satellite telemetry to FunCube Warehouse.

Block Diagram for the r2cloud software.
Block Diagram for the r2cloud software.

METEOR M Demodulator SDR# Plugin and LRPT-Decoder Updated

Thanks to Happysat for providing info on updates to these programs again. Meteor Demodulator V2.2 is a plugin for SDR# that connects to the M2 LRPT Decoder software. Together with an RTL-SDR and 137 MHz satellite antenna, these programs are used to receive, track, demodulate and decode Meteor M satellite signals into live weather satellite images. Happysat has a tutorial available here, however we note that at the time of this post it hasn't been updated to use the latest software versions.

The biggest change appears that you can now affect the decoder settings from within the SDR# plugin. This is useful because the METEOR M2-2 satellite appears to be changing it's operating mode often (number of infrared vs visible channels, data rate etc).

We also note news from Happysat that the Meteor M-N2-2 satellite has now changed frequency to 137.100 MHz mode 72K on 16 Aug. 9:30 Moscow time (6:30 UTC). Other users have also indicated that M2-2 is currently transmitting two IR channels, and one visible now. Meteor M2 appears to still be transmitting visible channels.

M2 LRPT Decoder V47:

- Added Meteor Demodulator V2.2 socket support

- only mode, sat, rgb are supported so far.

- Fix manual s-file processing

By design, the plug-in will manage the settings of the decoder and this should reduce the number of settings that must be done when changing the Meteor operating modes.

Example scheduler options:

M2_decoder_init_Line <rgb=123.jpg> or (rgb=125,444,555 ect)

In order for the decoder to work with Meteor Demodulator V2.2 http://happysat.nl/meteor_2.2.zip , the ini-file mode and sat entries must be assigned to auto!

M2_LRPT_Decoder.ini

mode=auto

sat=auto

http://happysat.nl/LRPT_Decoder_v47.zip

M2 LRPT Decoder V48:

- Remove debug window

http://happysat.nl/LRPT_Decoder_v48.zip

 

Meteor Demodulator V2.2

From TSSDR:

Added interaction with Meteor LRPT-Decoder via socket.

At the beginning of the data transmission, the configuration of the modulation speed and modulation type (satellite name) is transmitted to the decoder.

That is, there is no need to change the decoder settings when changing 72K / 80K and M2 / M2.2.

It will receive signal information from the plugin.

It is enough to change the speed in the scheduler.

A new scheduler command "M2_decoder_init_Line <>" has been added to the plugin.

Using it, you can transfer any commands that are in the ini file of the decoder (for example, the command to select channels to save a color picture:

M2_decoder_init_Line <rgb = 123.jpg>)

In general, this allows you to change the settings when changing the reception conditions only in the scheduler and not in the entire chain of programs for processing the signal from the satellite.

M2 decoder compatible with these functions is >V47

http://happysat.nl/meteor_2.2.zip

http://rtl-sdr.ru

Updated Meteor M2 Demodulator Plugin.
Updated Meteor M2 Demodulator Plugin.

Hackaday Article about the Slow Death of NOAA-15

If you've been following our blog, or have your own RTL-SDR based weather satellite station, then you'll know that the NOAA-15 APT satellite has been experiencing issues lately. There appear to be problems with it's camera scan motor resulting from it running low on lubrication. This is fully understandable as the satellite is 21 years old and well past it's expected life span. The satellite appears to be working some days, and producing garbage image other days.

Over on Hackaday, Dan Maloney has uploaded an interesting article that explores the history and technology behind NOAA-15's camera, and why it is now failing.

When NOAA-15 fails for good, don't feel too bad as we still have NOAA-18 and NOAA-19, the Russian Meteor M2, and Meteor M2-2 satellites, and the GOES satellites, all of which can be received by an RTL-SDR. Several new weather satellites are also planned for 2020 and onwards.

Updated Meteor M-N2-2 Tutorial and Decoder Now Available

Thank you to Happysat for submitting the following information about the updated LRPT decoder for Meteor M-N2-2. He has also provided a link to his very useful Meteor Satellite reception tutorial.

Today the official LRPT-Decoder V42 ready for release :)

Before we did use a older internal debug version from 2014, because this one was still in development.

This version 42 of LRPTDecoder will work with both Meteor M-N2 and Meteor M-N2-2.

Example ini configuration files for other modes are attached in the archive.

http://happysat.nl/LRPT_Decoder_v42.rar

Howto overhere http://happysat.nl/Setup_Meteor/Setup.html

Author of LRPT_Decoder is Oleg ROBONUKA.

The new Meteor M-N2-2 Decoder + Sample Image
The new Meteor M-N2-2 Decoder + Sample Image

Weather Satellite NOAA 15 Appears to have Failed (Again)

Back in April 2018 we posted how the NOAA-15 APT weather satellite that many RTL-SDR users enjoy receiving images from was having problems with it's scan motor resulting in image errors. The satellite recovered from that problem, but today the problem appears to be back and in a much worse way now.

Users on Reddit and Twitter have reported bad images coming in from NOAA 15. Over on Reddit u/rtlsdr_is_fun has provided a post showing an example of a corrupted image, and also provided an IQ and Audio file. On his blog [Karsey] has also posted some interesting looking corrupted images that he's received.

Corrupted NOAA-15 Image Received by [Karsey]
Corrupted NOAA-15 Image Received by [Karsey] (See his post for the full sized images)

NASA have put out a statement indicating that yet again it is a problem with the scan motor, and the problem could be permanent.

The NOAA-15 AVHRR Scan Motor current began showing signs of instability at approximately 0400Z on July 23, 2019. At about 0435Z the current rose sharply to about 302mA where it has remained. Scan motor temperature began rising about the same time and is currently steady at ~26M-0C. Black body temperatures dropped sharply at about the same time. The instrument appears to no longer be producing data.
This behavior is consistent with a scan motor stall, but requires further investigation. Options for recovery are limited.

Having been launched in 1998 with a minimum spec of 2 years operation, NOAA-15 has already well outlived it's time and may finally be failing for real. We hope it will recover, but if not we should be thankful that Russian weather satellite Meteor M2-2 is now fully operational and transmitting beautiful high resolution images.

Weather Satellite Meteor M2-2 Now Transmitting Images

Reports from Reddit and Twitter are in that the recently launched Meteor M2-2 weather satellite is now functional and broadcasting images at 137.9 MHz. A few people have noted that the reception quality appears to be better than the older satellite.

Thank you to Happysat whose also provided the following information that can be used to receive the images. It appears that a slightly modified version of LRPTDecoder is required:

This version of LRPTDecoder was used to test/debug OQPSK with Meteor M-N2-1 in 2014, it will work on Meteor M-N2-2.
The ini file attached in the archive is processed manually from s files.
Buttons 72K and 80K respectively for the modes “without interleaving” and “with interleaving”.
Also in the archive there are examples for other modes.

Transmissions on LRPT with a OQPSK Modulation are expected tomorrow on most probably 137.900MHz.

Make sure you have version 1.9 of the Meteor QPSK Plugin running in SDRSharp.
http://rtl-sdr.ru/uploads/download/meteor.zip

Changelog:
Optimized QPSK demodulator, OQPSK signal for receiving current and future Meteor.

For people running Tracking DDE Client Plugin make sure you have the following entries in the scheduler:

METEOR-M2_2

radio_Start
radio_modulation_type<wfm>
radio_center_frequency_Hz<138380050>
radio_frequency_Hz<137900000>
radio_bandwidth_Hz<90000>
OQPSK_demodulator_Start
send_tracking_frequency_On

Edit to your path! for MeteorGIS Custom ini file start_programm_Path<C:\Meteor\MeteorGIS\MeteorGIS.exe>

Edit to your path! for MeteorGIS Custom ini file start_programm_Path<C:\Meteor\MeteorGIS\MeteorGIS_M_N2-2.bat>

Edit to your path! Without MeteorGIS start_programm_Path<C:\AMIGOS\run.bat>

send_Tracking_Frequency_Off
OQPSK_demodulator_Stop
radio_Stop

Download:

https://cloud.mail.ru/public/2Se9/9bj36m6AP

Mirror:

http://happysat.nl/2015.3.20.15.zip

Спасибо Олегу, Нцомз и Роскосмосу!

Happysat

Meteor M N2-2 Successfully Launched: Awaiting LRPT Signal

On July 5 the Russian Meteor M N2-2 weather satellite was successfully launched into orbit and appears to be healthy. The LRPT weather camera signal is not yet broadcasting however, and we expect it to still take roughly 1-2 months before it begins (if all goes well) as satellites typically run through a long list of qualification tests before becoming operational. During this time there may be broadcasts of test patterns that can be caught. Meteor M N2-2 can currently be tracked in Orbitron and online at N2YO.

To try and dispel any confusion over the naming scheme, "Meteor M N2" is the currently operational LRPT satellite. "Meteor M N2-1" unfortunately failed in 2017 as it did not separate from the rocket. "Meteor M N2-2" is the new satellite which has just been successfully launched. Meteor M N2 and M N2-2 is often abbreviated as just "Meteor M2" and "Meteor M2-2". In the past there was Meteor M N1, but this satellite is no longer operational. We have upcoming launches for Meteor M2-3, M2-4, MP-1 and M3 to look forward to which are scheduled for 2020 and 2021.

Back on June 28 we posted about how Meteor M2 was experiencing orientation issues for a few days. Those issues appear to have been rectified now. Hopefully if M2 remains stable we'll have two Meteor LRPT weather satellites to receive alongside the three NOAA APT satellites.

If you're interested, there were also several other payloads onboard the rocket carrying M2-2, including a low cost Czech experimental cubesat called Lucky7 whose telemetry can be received in the amateur radio band at 437.525 MHz. There is an onboard camera too, but no details on how to receive it yet.

Soyuz Rocket carrying Meteor M2-2 Launched successfully. [Source: spaceflightnow]

NOAA-APT Software Decoder: Users Guide Now Available

Back in August, 2018 we posted about NOAA-APT, which back then was a new NOAA APT image decoder program. Recently Martin, the author of NOAA-APT has written in and wanted to note that he's now created a guide and video tutorials for his software, and for NOAA APT reception in general.

NOAA weather satellites broadcast an Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) signal, which contains a live weather image of your area. With an RTL-SDR and antenna they can be received and downloaded every time one of the satellite's passes overhead which could be multiple times a day.

Our standard NOAA weather satellite tutorial makes use of SDR#, audio piping and the WXtoIMG to receive NOAA satellite images. Martin's guide and software might be slightly easier for newbies as it only involves recording an audio WAV file, then loading it up into his software. The disadvantage is that the image is not colorized, and not displayed in real time as it is in WXtoIMG.

As you may already know, the old standard software in NOAA image decoding, WXtoIMG, is now considered abandonware, and the only place to get it is from a third party mirror rehosting the now defunct WXtoIMG website. As WXtoIMG is closed source no further development can occur on it. Martin's NOAA-APT still misses a lot of the advanced features of WXtoIMG but it is fully open source and multiplatform, and so it is a very promising program.

Receiving NOAA satellite images with noaa-apt and SDR#