Rainy weeks - Satnogs here we go!
While summer and fall really were amazing times for taking pictures during clear nights, in winter there was permanent cloud coverage and I didn't even have a chance to take a look at the Comet 46P/Wirtanen. Time to make my backup plans happen: I am going radio astronomy.
There are two relatively easy ways to start in radio astronomy:
- Meteor watching with Forward Scatter.
- Receiving satellite radio using Satnogs.
So I first installed a meteor forward scatter station using a PC with SDRplay and a 2m Yagi Antenna and I was able to catch some impressive meteor echoes from the Graves Radar station. My temporary antenna mast however didn't withstand the weather and broke.
With that I decided to switch over to satellite radio using the excellent work of the Satnogs open source project. I installed a Raspberry Pi with the Satnogs Image, a NooElec NESDR Smart Dongle and the TA-1 Turnstile antenna from WiMo. Thank you to Ansi for your help.
Installation is straight forward and after a few hours, I was able to receive the first signals from satellites.
Within two weeks, my satellite ground station was able to record more than 200 satellite passes. Highlight so far is the observation and recording of radio communication between a british school and the ISS! This is the recording, you can hear the astronaut talk at 3:05.
My ground station is the sixth station in Germany that is permanently online and I already ordered additional parts (antenna cables and signal amplifiers and filters) to enhance recording quality.
I also ordered parts for the Meteor Scatter station. As soon as they arrive, I will setup the Meteor Observatory again.