Saturday, December 16

Satellite Tracking Introduction

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Now before you imagine a large disc in your back garden, no need, as you do not need any extra hardware (only your computer) the kepler data works with the software to compute the position of various satellites in real time and shows them moving over a world map. Configure the program with your location and it will tell you when a chosen satellite should  be passing your way. 

It strikes me that there are worse pastimes than looking up at a clear sky every now and then and having a look for the various bits and pieces that are circling our world and with this software you can get to know when they are due to pass by. I confess its been a while since I looked, being in town together with mostly cloudy weather, a chance reference on a Google search reminded me and I thought it might be of interest to others. WXTrack also has a 3D globe add on  and I would recommend it for older systems, I have had this working on an old Pentium 3 Notebook with only 4mb of video ram. Two quick tips here, don’t forget to download the runtimes for it (on same site, self installing) I did and had to go back to download the file and update the Kepler data, options/update kepler.

Weather Satellites

It is possible to track and record a transmitting weather satellite that’s  passing overhead and convert the sound file into a picture like those you see on TV weather forecasts but from what I remember of my attempts you need to have a decent receiver perhaps dedicated to the task and an antenna that’s also made to receive the signals. The recordings have to be squeaky clean and without the above I couldn’t get any to convert. If you’re curious about this though most of the free converters have a sample sound file and it also gives you an idea of what the signals sound like.

Ham Radio Deluxe and Google Earth

HRD is at its sounds really for Ham Radio enthusiasts but it also has a satellite tracker and if you install or have installed Google earth there’s a link button to click that will open it up onto the path of the satellite it is currently tracking, you have to be online of course.

 

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