SDR for meteor scatter

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SDR for meteor scatter

Unread post by toxygen » Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:43 pm

I thought I might share our project with you. It's nothing fancy like satnav or jukebox projects, but nevertheless, here it is:

We are a group of radio astronomers with one of interests in radio meteor detection. Basically when some meteor enters the atmosphere, it leaves behind a fireball trail which reflects the radio signal from earth transmitter (sky radars, analog tv transmitters, etc...). We are detecting these reflections at several our and others' stations and we are trying to calculate meteor data from these signals, i.e. vector of velocity (where it came from), where exactly it entered atmosphere (possibly calculate trajectory to earth), and so on...

Until now, ordinary station hardware to process signal from antenna looked like this:
When X2 came out, it was our first thought to use it instead of netbooks, because it was much smaller, power efficient, cheaper, passively cooled and just more suitable to our needs :)
The software we used on our netbooks is called Spectrum Lab and unfortunately it is windows-only software. On some stations we did around this by using it under wine where it works reliably too. I tried doing the same with X2, alas getting wine x86 working with all those wine and qemu patches was just no good, so we decided to write our own software. And few months after, here we are with X2 as a heart of our station:
As you can see, it's still a developer version :) We are planning to use X2's ADC instead of the external sound card, even though they have lower bit resolution. Some of the first meteors detected using the X2 instead of Spectrum Lab, viewed in QFitsView on a mac:
Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 9.27.31 AM.png
Right now we do not have any fancy GUI, we just generate plain and simple FITS files (astronomical data format). However, the project has been accepted to ESA Summer of Code in Space 2013 so we hope to get everything user friendly soon.

The software we developed is available as-is on github. We are using it with cooperation with some more tools for data sharing and analysis, which all be eventually integrated in one application.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask :)

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Re: SDR for meteor scatter

Unread post by odroid » Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:02 pm

It seems to be an oscilloscope to capure the astronomical signals.
Amazing project even I saw a meteor over 5 years ago... ;)

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