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08-06-2009 02:08 AM #1
Satellites outside the Clarke Belt
Have there been any hobbyist attempts to derive content from the non-equatorial inclined or polar orbit satellites? I am aware the satellites outside the Clarke Belt in recurring orbits will require both elevation and azimuth steering. I have not been able to find a site with info on these sats.
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08-06-2009 09:08 AM #2
The ones that are inclined are usually so indicated on Lyngsat. For example, they list Echo-4 as inclined now, but it's sitting in the same slot as Echo-8, so it's hard to tell when you're viewing Echo-4 and when you're viewing Echo-8. There are also a couple South American sats listed as inclined. If they are inclined more than a degree, you'll probably need a tracking program to tell you when the equator crossing times will be, if you can't track your dish.
Relative to non-communications sats that are high inclination LEO sats, there is also some occasional slow scan TV to be found coming from the ISS, but this is more like a series of still pictures. Whenever I've monitored them, it was just test screens, but I used to collect nice pictures from the old MIR space station. Also, there are APT style NOAA weather transmissions in the 137-138 MHz range. Not quite "video" but kind of neat to receive.
08-06-2009 10:35 AM #3
Molniya orbit, and others:
Not sure if you care, but the Russian orbital trick is fascinating.
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Also, the HAM radio world has had orbiting satellites for decades.
A quick Google search should find the appropriate sites.
Some of my buddies tracked and talked through them, but I was never interested in that corner of the hobby.
08-06-2009 11:06 AM #4
Hi all, there are also ham radio satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) that are racing by at all times of the day and night. They have a very small footprint because they are so low and are moving very fast in relation to the surface of the earth. With a laptop and special software they can be tracked and found. I have managed in the past using nothing more then a small hand held beam antenna and a hand held radio to pick up voice contacts from these satellites. Some even have packet radio on them and pictures and other digital content can be pulled from them.
Because of the fast movement these satellites have considerable Doppler shift and are hard to stay locked on to with simple receivers. Special receivers for this type of operation are almost required.
If you want to learn more google "ham radio amsat"
08-06-2009 11:56 AM #5
08-07-2009 12:24 AM #6
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I just checked out NOAA APT, and it seems to be wide-band FM radiofacsimile which a much wanted ICOM can handle. I'll be spending some time at the HF-Fax website. I'll also be looking for software and hardware interfaces for controlling/powering both azimuth and elevation actuators on a C-dish.
Anole: Thanks, I find the Russian approach to advantaging the apogee dwell most innovative. Galileo and Kepler should be happy.
DC: Thanks for the link to amsat. I've been away from ARRL and QST for decades, but old interests are coming back.
Guapo: I tinker with RF and related hardware. I consider most processed TV content to be a waste of time, so I don't watch much. I do, however, spend some time investigating out-of-box approaches to satellite reception. I am not looking for any specific sat.