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RTL-SDR compatible decoder application for the Meteor M2 weather satellite (rtl-sdr.com)
122 points by Baikal12 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments

I've got and RTL-SDR and love these little tricks. I showed a bunch of friends how it can decode transpoder (ADS-B) transmissions to track aircraft. "I can do that on my phone with flightaware." If I show them this they will say "My phone has a weather app". The magic of a tiny device receiving transmissions from aircraft and satellites is lost on most people. This is Trek-level technology. And it is a Russian satellite! Bond didn't have toys like this.

Look carefully, especially if you live near an Alpha or Beta level global city NYC, LA, SF, Chicago, DC, Miami in the United States. FlightAware took out the wealthy's private planes from their database at their request. There's lodes of exceptions to tracking if you are monied.

What we need is more people running things like RTL-SDRs to acquire data the rich and powerful want hidden to avoid exposure for shady activities.


Relevant discussion about blocked aircrafts on flightradar24 three years ago:


You should remind your friends that the data Flightaware shows actually comes from devices like the RTL-SDR in the first place.

Came here to say this.

Go ahead, say it

Yeah, the "you can just download it from the internet" mentality is a fairly valid criticism of the __utility__ of these RTL-SDR projects, but don't let it take away from the excitement of learning, building, and finally receiving these images. These images that you receive are some of the very few photos of the Earth that actually don't come from the Internet!

I'm in the military. The ability to scrape weather data from a satellite or tune a random radio while huddled in a tent, or on the deck of a ship at sea, is VERY appreciated. My SDR dongle is in my strange tools bag, right beside my lockpicks. You don't need them every day, but once in a blue moon they might save a life.

That's the spirit! If this mindset doesn't exemplify the hacker mindset/ethos, I don't know what does.

I love the "strange tools bag". And what else is in there :-)

Nothing too extreme. A powerful wifi dongle with a few antennas. A kick-ass waterproof laser pointer. A 20,000mwh cellphone charger. Spare cellphone. Spare name/rank tags. An small aviation knife. Just problem-solving stuff for long road trips.

Thank you

Similar experience listening to fellow passengers in a metal tube, 5 miles in the air, over the middle of the ocean, going 500+ mph. "This wifi internet is so slow..."

While I'm thrilled it works well enough to read email.

I did the same thing! And got the same reactions from some people. There's just something about viewing data you personally are receiving.

This satellite is apparently passing over the UK in just 20 minutes! You can track it here: https://www.n2yo.com/?s=40069&live=1

I hope this thing compiles quickly :)

EDIT: It needs a newer version of GTK than is available in apt for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, this isn't going to happen for me tonight unfortunately :(

Does this require a special antenna besides the SDR dongle?

To get a good result, yes. Here's an example that would be very easy to build with some coat hangers and a little coax - https://www.rtl-sdr.com/simple-noaameteor-weather-satellite-...

That said, if it's flying overhead you could probably pick something up with a basic telescoping antenna.

Edit: The issue I had was temporary, it seems to be working now.

Very cool. Just this morning I was looking for a FIS-B decoder.

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