Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
Carl Sagan

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June 25, 2024 1:04 am

Who and What are Satellite Data and Imagery Enthusiasts?

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April 2023 Solar Storm
Daily Global Geo Composite rendered in 3D!
Hunga Tonga Eruption 1.15.2022
Current SDO Imagery Space Weather

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GOES West and GOES East
GOES Satellite Imagery Received by Author

This site is designed by me to help out folks like you, who use radios, namely Software-Defined Radios or SDR’s for experimenting, scanning, decoding, etc.

The who and what of Satellite Data and Imaging Enthusiasts

Satellite data and imaging enthusiasts are an international group of people who are passionate about receiving and analyzing satellite data and imagery. They are a niche group of people with an appreciation for the vast wealth of information available to them from satellites orbiting in the sky. They use a variety of antennas and data receivers, including Software Defined Radios (SDRs) and home-built antennas, and repurposed satellite dishes, to capture data and imagery from satellites in low Earth orbit and Geostationary orbit. Low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites typically orbit the Earth at an altitude of between 160 and 2000 kilometers, while geostationary orbit (GEO) satellites orbit at a distance of around 36,000 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

SDR enters the game

With the increasing availability of open-source software and affordable SDR hardware, this hobby has become accessible to a wider audience, and many hobbyists are now able to receive images and data directly from satellites in low Earth orbit and Geostationary orbit.

Satellite data and imaging enthusiasts share their talents, ideas, open-source software, and designs with an international audience. They often come together online to discuss their latest projects and findings, and to share resources and advice. As coders and experimenters, they are involved in the development of new software and new technologies for gathering and analyzing satellite data, as well as in the development of applications that use satellite data to provide insight into the Earth and its environment.

Weather Satellite Imagery

One of the most popular applications for satellite data and imagery enthusiasts is weather monitoring. With the ability to receive data directly from weather satellites, enthusiasts can track the movement of storms, hurricanes, and other weather systems in real time. This information can be useful for a variety of applications, including weather monitoring, disaster response, agriculture, and aviation.

In addition to weather monitoring, satellite data and imagery enthusiasts can also use their skills and equipment for a variety of other applications, including earth observation, decoding the avionics system used for sending text messages between ground and airborne stations, environmental monitoring, and amateur radio communication. Enthusiasts also participate in satellite tracking and prediction, which involves predicting the trajectory of satellites and determining the optimal time and location for receiving data and imagery.

Using these tools, they process and decode satellite images and data to create maps, models, and simulations to help better understand the Earth, its climate, and its resources.   In many ways, they are similar to citizen scientists, who use their skills, access to technology, and commitment to science to make meaningful contributions to both the hobbyist and the scientific community.

How to get started

For those interested in getting started with receiving and analyzing satellite data, there are a number of excellent resources available. Websites like offer tutorials and advice on setting up and building antennas and receivers. There is a list of helpful and informative websites here.  Other helpful websites include NOAA and EUMETSAT, which share satellite imagery from their weather satellites with the public. Additionally, there are a number of online forums and discussion boards where enthusiasts can ask questions and share their experiences.

For those who are willing to invest the time and effort, receiving satellite data and imagery directly from satellites can be a rewarding hobby. Not only does it provide a great opportunity to learn about the latest technologies and build complex equipment, but it also allows enthusiasts to make a direct connection with satellites in the sky, and people with similar interests around the planet.  

With the right tools and knowledge, anyone can become one of these enthusiastic explorers, unlocking the secrets of the skies.  

If you like what I do please support me on Ko-fi, It really means a lot, every bit helps!

I am just someone who likes to experiment with a lot of different tech. From old tube radios to the latest in SDR.

I am a history buff, and a technology geek, born 100 years too late and 100 years too early. I hope this site helps you out in exploring just some of the interesting things software-defined radio can offer.

You’ll find links to my different pages on the menu at the top of every page. This is continually updated, so stop back sometime and have a look!

And now for something completely different… I have been interested in science, and space in general because of one influential man, Carl Sagan. Since I read his books, Cosmos, Contact, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, Broca’s Brain, and saw him lecture, I have always felt the need to look deeper and to look up, if for no other reason, than to just “wonder”.