How/where - do I get started?

Many beginners start with the analogue signals from NOAA polar orbiting satellites.

These APT (Automatic Picture Transmission) signals are transmitted in the 137 MHz VHF band. The image consists of a visible and an infrared image side-by-side in daylight hours and two different IR channels at night but you have to wait for the satellite to pass over your location.

Daily pass times and frequencies can be found via various WXSAT prediction programmes - see APT pages.

For NOAA APT you will need:-

An omni-directional turnstile antenna, but you can start with a simple antenna. Try this out.

A receiver suitable for APT reception - SDR dongles are cheap. Try here

There is also some free-use software, xrit2pic, from Rob Albas - details:

Good quality coax cable to connect antenna to receiver.

A computer. A Raspberry Pi is a possibility leaving your home PC or laptop free.

You will then need some processing software - For the Pi RaspberryNOAA is on github and a script can be used to install the software automaticallt. Nico the software author is quick to help with problems.

For EUMETCast, Geostationary satellite data reception in Europe.

Owing to a problem with the first MSG (Meteosat Second Generation) satellite its imaging data had to be disseminated via a commercial TV satellite originally Hot Bird-6 now Eutelsat-10A. This system is in use today with Meteosat-10's HRIT and Meteosat-9's rapid-scanning data of Europe.

This unforeseen event has had two advantages - firstly all the 12 channel high resolution data from Meteosat along with many meteorological products, plus relays of 2 American satellites, a European Indian Ocean satellite and a Japanese satellite's imaging, plus high resolution extended coverage 5 channel imaging from NOAA polar orbiters, and global high resolution 5 channel imaging from the European Metop satellite, are all transmitted 24 hours a day via one data stream called EUMETCast in the Ku-band.

The second advantage of this dissemination system being that this vast amount of data can be received with relatively cheap equipment.

Equipment required is best explained here

The SR1 Advanced DVB-S/S2 Receive

TELLICAST reception software and access dongle to be purchased from and supplied by EUMETSAT after you have registered for the EUMETCast service - see our registration pages

The receiving antenna is the familiar offset satellite TV type dish. An 85 cm is recommended by EUMETSAT for most of Europe with a good quality standard Universal digital satellite TV LNB.

A reasonably modern PC/laptop. There is a lot of data available so hard drive space quickly fills up. (More is better) 2-3 GB RAM with a 32 bit setup. More if 64bit. I would recommend a supported version of MS Windows.(I use Win 10). Alternatively a recent Linux Distro can be used, however most software is made for Windows.

Processing, display and animation software - David Taylor’s comprehensive suite of EUMETCast software (See SatSignal software page).

There is also some free-use software, xrit2pic, from Rob Albas - details:

The CD from EUMETSAT also contains the TELLICAST and dongle software with an on-screen-guide for installing these.

Full details of NOAA polar orbiter APT reception and EUMETCast (Europe, Africa and Americas [both C-band]) reception can be found on their individual pages on this website.

Technical support. Owing to the many operating systems and configurations in use by members receiving EUMETCast various aspects of support and information are dealt with via several Yahoo Groups user groups:

GEO-Subscribers - For all general aspects of weather satellite reception, display and GEO news and activities and member chit-chat and discussions.

MSG-1 - For news, information and problem solving regarding the EUMETCast service including TELLICAST software.

AVHRR - News, information problem solving regarding NOAA Hi-Res and GAC polar orbiter imaging disseminated via EUMETCast.

Metop - News, information and problem solving for Metop polar orbiter global AVHRR disseminated via EUMETCast.

SatSignal - News, information and problem solving/support for David Taylor's suite of software. and David's site

Weather satellite reports - A weekly bulletin of all weather satellite's operational status, issued on a Monday.

NOTE: Please refer technical queries to one of the above dedicated user groups for speedy advice


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