HRPT reception

NOAA Weather satellites transmit High Resolution Pictures at 1.7 GHz. The transmission is not encrypted and the  USRP SDR and GNU-RADIO can be used for reception and decoding. A steerable directional low noise antenna and a low noise amplifier are required for direct reception.

To read more about NOAA Weather satellites follow this link

Detailed NOAA satellites status and frequencies can be found here

My Weather Satellite reception setup currently consists of the following:

1) I am still using the 2.5 m dish  of the EME (Moon bounce) setup.  But I will try using a much smaller antenna and an old IRTE SAT-TV rotator.

2) Satellite tracking is done with the EME FUN software and the EME FUN antenna controller.

3) Helix feed off-set to the 23cm N2UO/W2IMU feed

4) TX/RX switch to isolate the LNA during 1296 MHz / 23cm transmission

5) Lorch 5DF6 band pass filter to suppress cellular interference

6) Home-made 1.7 GHz LNA followed by MMIC amp

7) USRP SDR + WBX daughterboard

8) Demodulation is done using GNU-Radio based POES-USRP on a Linux machine OR with the following GNU-Radio ( flow graph running on Windows. Download HRPT GNU-radio companion .grc file from my dropbox .

9) For visualization/false color images David Taylor’s excellent HRPT reader is used.

Currently tracking/demodulation/visualization is entirely done on Windows.

By the way, I use GNU-Radio version (not the latest) and instructions how to install this version on Windows 7 32 bit can be found here.

Below is the main flow graph I use on Windows. It outputs an .hmf file on a folder you have to setup in “File Sink”. This .hmf file can be opened with David Taylor’s HRPT Reader.


73 de SV1CAL  – Michael Margaras

NOAA 19 low orbit weather satellite passing over Athens on Jan,7th 2013

Picture is an HRPT (High Resolution Picture Transmission) compressed false color image as received with my 2.5m dish and the USRP SDR


2 thoughts on “HRPT reception”

  1. Very good article. I see that the USRP is using sample rate of 2 MSPS. Would that be means RTL SDR also can be used?

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