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Building a Weather Satellite Station
Experiences & Suggestions...


NOAA-14 image with false color enhancement. Taken with fourth system of hardware and software discussed here. (Large version 1040x1240)

Receiving weather satellite imagery directly to your own ground station is great fun. For just a few hundred dollars you can begin a marvelous hobby for yourself, a wonderful educational tool for a school science class, or a great project for a space club.

Tracking satellites, setting up a receiver, waiting for the signals, decoding and studying the images - these activities bring a real sense of interaction and involvement with the extensive space infrastructure surrounding us and of which most people are unaware.

The Introduction provides information about:

System 1

First setup
System 1

Sample image
Sample image with System 1

Our first setup was the simplest and cheapest. A basic system as shown above consists of the following.. continue

System 2

System 2 image
Sample image with System 2

Second setup
System 2

The second setup was basically the same as the first but used a custom receiver built by a ham radio enthusiast...continue

System 3

Third setup
System 3

False color image of Scandinavia
NOAA-14 image of Scandinavia with
false color enhancement.

The third setup involved a significant enhancement in capability. We still used the PCR1000 receiver and same antenna, but we replaced the decoding by the sound card with a commercial interface box and its software from TimeStep in Great Britain (Timestep no longer sells sat reception equipment, Dartcom is one option) ....continue

System 4

System 4 - false color image
NOAA-14 image of northern Europe
false color enhancement.

Fourth setup
System 4

The fourth setup went fully automatic. We replaced the Icom receiver with the PROscan receiver/scanner from TimeStep and now the PROsat program controlled everything. This receiver scans several frequencies to look not only for the NOAA satellite transmissions but also those from the Russian Meteor and Okean satellites.....continue

System 5

System 5
System 5

Geo-sat weather image
Image from a geostatioary weather satellite using System 5

The final setup added a separate dish antenna and a separate receiver for reception of images from the Meteosat satellites at geostationary orbit. With the PROsat receiver, both the APT and GEO/WEFAX imaging could be controlled from the same PROsat for Windows program environment.....continue

Space Radio HobbySpace Introduction


The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey
NewSpace Watch at NSG











Satellite Handbook

Steve Ford
Amazon: US 

The Satellite Projects Handbook
Satellite Projects Handbook
Lawrence Harris - 1996
Amazon: US 
How-to book for setting up a satellite receiving station

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