Weather Monitoring – weather station and weather satellite


I have recently taken an interest in weather observation.This fits in well with amateur radio as data from a weather station can be fed into the global APRS tracking system which I have been doing for some time now.
WeewWX weather software automatically uploads the data to DigitalHam – display weather

The other radio related aspect is receiving weather satellite pictures. I made a start on this for the NOAA satellites on 137MHz.

My original APT satellite antenna

Pictured above is the temporary crossed dipole and reflector turnstile antenna which I quickly bodged together to get working. It was mounted on the pole which carried my dual band 2m 70cm colinear. The colinear temporarily served as a second antenna for the satellite receiver where it worked well at the start and end of satellite passes – initially it seemed to receive low elevation signals better than the turnstile but I later realised that it was mostly receiving noise.

Quadrifilar Helix Antenna for the 137MHz APT weather satellite band

Then came a Quadrifilar Helix and a turnstile. This too is now defunct as I damaged it when moving the station.

WH1090 weather station guages

The gauges above are from a WH1090 which replaced my
Watson W-8681 weather station. Both are reviewed later.

NOAA 17 Problems February 2010
Shortly before I restarted recording NOAA APT weather satellite images NOAA 17 developed a scan motor fault. NOAA attempted a software fix in early March but many of its images are still corrupted by the fault. There is no doubt still good scientific information that can be gleaned from the corrupted images but as their inclusion ruins composite images I have reluctantly decided to exclude them. I will continue to monitor images recorded by other stations and reinstate recording of NOAA 17 passes if the problem is fixed.

The MCIR + precipitation enhancement on the left would mess up any composite image it got used in. The Pristine enhancement on the right shows that only a single channel is corrupted.

Corrupted NOAA 17 image (MCIR + precipitation enhancement)Corrupted NOAA 17 image (Pristine enhancement)

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