The SUWS WebSDR, a popular resource for the Amateur Satellite and 434 MHz High Altitude Balloon communities, has recently been upgraded to support VLF and 49.990 MHz for Meteor Scatter observations.
The SUWS team hope that these new bands will further enhance the capabilities of the WEB SDR, which already covers a large proportion of the 2m, 70cm and 3cm Amateur bands.
The bands were added in order to try and replicate some of the work already undertaken by Dr David Morgan 2W0CXV and to make the SDR available as an on-line resource for others who are interested in observing such phenomena.
Performance on the VLF bands is now quite good, but it still suffers slightly from some electrical noise from other equipment in the site and Sferic noise (Lightning discharges) from about 4 kHz upwards.
50 MHz is currently operating on a temporary antenna, but it is possible to hear the local beacons and repeaters, plus more distant Amateur stations during Sporadic E openings. So it is a good indicator of band conditions, but is probably not quite sensitive enough at the moment to allow detection of some of the weaker meteor pings emanating from the BRAMS CW radar on 49.97 MHz and IEPR CW radar on 49.99 MHz
However 143 MHz is working well and Pings from Graves on 143.05 MHz can be heard quite frequently.
Here is an example of how the WEB SDR can be used to detect meteors.
It is possible by looping a PC sound card input and output whilst running a web browser, to use Spectrum Lab to display a waterfall of the audio from the PC. Then by opening multiple instances of the WEB SDR in the browser, selecting USB and setting each SDR instance to a slightly different centre frequency and adjusting the filter pass-bands. It is possible to concurrently capture plots from VLF signals, IEPR, BRAMS and GRAVES and display them side by side on one screen (see attached). Because the same PC, Browser and internet connection is being used for all the signals, the plots should be almost time synchronous.
The SUWS team hope that these new enhancements will be enjoyed by their users, and expect that further improvements will continue to be made over the coming months.
Use the SUWS WebSDR at http://websdr.suws.org.uk/
Radio Astronomy Group Meteor Scatter Workshop takes place in Northampton on October 31
Getting started in Amateur Radio Meteor Scatter (MS)
AMSAT-UK publishes a newsletter, OSCAR News, which is full of Amateur Satellite information. A sample issue of OSCAR News can be downloaded here.
Join AMSAT-UK via the online shop at http://shop.amsat.org.uk/
What is Amateur Radio ? http://www.essexham.co.uk/what-is-amateur-radio
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