I have a dream to build a no frills home weather station and deploy it to see how far I can go in bringing together what I’ve learned from remote sensing, meteorology and software engineering. The ideal outcome would be to download and decode satellite imagery, draw in local weather using an API and assimilate the data into WRF simulations on a Raspberry Pi. Until that day I’ll share here my progress.
Weather Satellite Antenna Build
I made a quadrifilar helix (QFH) weather satellite antenna tuned to 137.5 MHz to pick up APT transmission from @NOAASatellites passing over Gloucester. I followed the excellent ‘how to’ by spacemanlabs at @instructables:
For the dimensions of the antenna, I used the QFH calculator: http://jcoppens.com/ant/qfh/calc.en.php. Here are some photos of the build and the copper wire-coax connections.
Initial Test (Window 10)
As an initial test of the weather satellite reception from NOAA-19, I used the tracking software WXtrack (https://www.satsignal.eu/software/wxtrack.htm) with updated Keplers from https://celestrak.com/NORAD/elements/:
I recorded the overpass signal by connecting the QFH coax to a RTL-SDR dongle (https://www.rtl-sdr.com/about-rtl-sdr/) using an SMA (male) to BNC (female) connector and then using SDR#:
The next step is to automate the process on a Raspberry Pi and serve imagery via a web app in Plotly Dash running on Heroku for comparison with simulations from NCAR’s Weather Research and Forcasting (WRF) model: https://ral.ucar.edu/solutions/products/weather-research-and-forecasting-model-wrf.