Question: Anyone working on Meteor Detection/Tracking?

MadTinker is asking a question about general
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by MadTinker | December 26, 2020 23:51 | #25336

There is a nice article in Sky at Night Magazine regarding a Rasperry Pi meteor detector. The article outlines the construction, data collection, and data sharing of information. Set up a Raspberry Pi meteor detector


I use rtlsdr hardware with a pc. The software is sdr# and argo, although there are a bunch of other ones you can use. I listen to a tv station still broadcasting normal , not digital, transmissions. These are tv stations getting rare, especially the ones using channel two or three. This is for optimal meteor detection. But there are other options. Usually, just using different software.

You may want to check out SARA(society of amateur radio astronomy). They do a lot with radio astronomy.

Good luck

I've thought about using air navigation beacons instead of TV stations. They're in the VHF band, around 120mhz, so they may be useful.

It's worth a try. Please let me know how it works out. Please double check, but the nav beacons should be between 108 mhz and 118 mhz.

Some departments were keeping up with snow levels with meteor scatter. They were using RF on a relatively low freq. around 40 mhz. This was done from the western half of the US. Can't tell you the exact frequency or if it's still active. This would be a better system of its still around.

The eastern half of the US decided cell phones were better.

There were two remote networks in the US, the snotel (40.67mhz) and the scan network. The scan network is mostly on the eastern half of the US and has switched from meteor to cellular. As far as I can tell, there at still a large number of stations on meteor(snotel) in the west. At least, that's what the internet says. Please understand, optimal range of reception is usually 500-1100 miles. So you will probably be able to hear them. Decode them, I don't know.

Myself, I had a spur from the computer. Couldn't use the RTLSDR at 40.67 mhz. So my choice was other freqs. May you have better luck.

I was going by memory on the frequencies, so I'll defer to your numbers. SnoTel might be a good alternative. I'm in British Columbia, so there may be a Canadian network as well. Unfortunately, the Nooelec SDR I've got only works down to 50mhz. But on the upside, I located my Kenwood HF set! Many posibilities.

Yes, Canada does have one. And it's a good one too. Sorry, off the top, I can't pull the details to mind. But the operation is similar.
A "ham it up" up converter would work well for your nooelectric. I tried some of the software fixes that would allow you to go lower in frequency. They were not very good. If you are doing meteor scatter, you can go down to 10 meters, but there are many other kinds of propagation . I like a little higher than that. Do you have your call yet?

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Canada has the CMOR project, it's meteor tracking. It works on 29.85 mhz and a UHF frequency. You might look it up, if interested.
There are several commercial meteor scatter communication sevices, most which have been around for 30 or more years. That will give you a start.

Thanks, but familiar with those

@AG8N I've been licensed since 1986. First call was VE7HAR, currently VE7MHJ. Mostly APRS, but I check into the occasional net.

My novice call was WN8PSX. Then WD8DBI for advanced. Then the extra ( back when 20 wpm cw was a requirement).

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Try They show a current on line plot of incoming meteors, if you are interested. They use skypipe, instead of argos. It's a good program that I just haven't gotten around to using on this mode.

Good luck

Thanks for info. The projects linked are interesting but quite different. A spring flood and some changes to the local EPA have encouraged me to move on from my original sensor project related to water quality monitoring. In addition, our community is applying for Dark Sky Status so this seemed like a good alternative. There is a citizen science program, Global Meteor Network, that uses meteor track data collected by various volunteers around the world. Data from neighboring locations are combined and the meteor tracks are triangulated to provide distance, direction, speed, etc. The project is relatively new, but looks pretty interesting. I've registered and ordered the list of equipment (camera, RasPi, etc) and hope to start assembling my station in the next month or so. Perhaps I'll start a project page to track my progress. Thanks again for the info.

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Gud knowlage

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Thought this might be of interest to some. I dug around and found 2-3 global efforts to track meteors. The tracking efforts involve not just identifying the occasion of a meteor, but include a coordinated effort to characterize the path of a meteor and also characterize the impact area. These groups are the ones who worked together to provide an impact location for recent meteor that came down in the UK. I'm working with the group at Western Ontario University (Global Meteor Network) that has cameras scattered across Europe and North America.

I am just finishing up the installation and calibration of a camera and attached are 1) a STACKED image of all the meteors detected last evening, and 2) a video of a sky from dusk until dawn that includes not only meteors, but planes, satellites, etc. US001L_20210319_014352_865948_stack_61_meteors.jpg


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