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Public Lab Research note


APT Satellite Station

by nearsys | August 02, 2020 17:13 02 Aug 17:13 | #24253 | #24253

Great article in receiving APT images. I was able to set up a station and start collecting images.

As you can see, I have pretty good images and plan to keep collecting them.

Has anyone looked into adding an amplifier to the turnstile antenna prior to the SDR? Could that improve image quality in the extreme north and south of the images?

I assembled an APT station back in 1992 and really loved it. I am glad to see there's an easier way to do it today. Thanks for the article. enhance_b.jpg


8 Comments

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Great image @nearsys! I wonder if anyone else (perhaps @sophied and @sashae ?) might have any insight on the question you asked:

Has anyone looked into adding an amplifier to the turnstile antenna prior to the SDR? Could that improve image quality in the extreme north and south of the images?

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Hi @nearsys sorry for the delay in replying! @liz thanks for flagging this. @nearsys your image is fantastic and it's wonderful to hear about your experience with APT stations in 1992! You seem more than qualified to be testing APT decoding through software defined radio :)

To answer your question, yes many people use low noise amplifiers or LNAs to improve the signal to noise ratio on 137 Mhz and therefore improve image length and quality. This article linked below includes a note about an LNA that was useful to the authors, but there are many on the market. http://users.utcluj.ro/~ATN/papers/ATN_3_2012_1.pdf

@sophied and I don't use LNAs since we are able to decode very long images with our turnstile antennas, and found that orienting the turnstiles properly really helped us pick up more of the north and south of each pass. But we are certainly interested in experimenting with LNAs and other amps / filters in future.

Do please share more of your experience especially if you end up testing an LNA !


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Hi @nearsys, i got a notification that you got an image of Hurricane Laura yesterday afternoon from southwest Idaho, but i don't see it here on this thread. If it's not too much trouble, could you please repost? Also please write to web@publiclab.org with any bug reports.

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I used my APT station to record an image of Hurricane Lauren from southwest Idaho. The satellite was going north and only got 35 degrees above my eastern horizon. To reduce noise, I connected the SDR directly to the turnstile antenna and didn't use the RG cable that came with it.


This is the image I recorded. It looks like the website is locking up when I upload.

On Thu, Aug 27, 2020, 8:37 AM \<notifications@publiclab.org> wrote:

Hi! You were mentioned by liz in a comment on the research note APT Satellite Station. You can reply to this email or visit this link:

https://publiclab.org/notes/nearsys/08-02-2020/apt-satellite-station#c27290

liz wrote:


Hi @nearsys, i got a notification that you got an image of Hurricane Laura yesterday afternoon from southwest Idaho, but i don't see it here on this thread. If it's not too much trouble, could you please repost? Also please write to web@publiclab.org with any bug reports.


Reply at: https://publiclab.org/notes/nearsys/08-02-2020/apt-satellite-station#comments

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Hi @nearsys and @liz I'm not able to see the image recorded by @nearsys on this thread- would be amazing to see what you got! I would be happy to report a bug but I don't think I have enough detail on what is going wrong to report...


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