Radio meteor detection system



2015-02

2015-01

2014-12 Note the geminid meteor shower (peak 12/14/2014)

Last strong echo

Listen (in testing phase)
LastStrongEcho.wav


Frequency (audio Hz from receiver) by time


Frequency by time summary


Daily totals

2017-01-13
Re-tunred to 82.3095 Mhz
2016-09-04
Changed beginning of frequency range for trigger actions to 860 (was 600) to avoid auroral propagation from setting it off
2015-11-21
Re-tunred to 82.3095 Mhz as a test, then tuned back to 82.3094 Mhz
2015-03-17
Auroral propagation caused some false detections. There was a severe geomagnetic storm where the KP index reached 8 during the peak. It was the strongest geomagnetic storm of this solar cycle so far. Chart.
2015-02-01
Removed data for 5 hours. Possible sporadic-E
2015-01-07
Now running on a different computer
2014-12-26
Now running with RMOB conversion routine and submitting results to the radio meteor observers page http://www.rmob.org/livedata/main.php

2014-12-13
Re-tuned receiver to 82.3094 Mhz

2014-11-13
Some people may say I have the %#!@ touch with sound cards. It may be true. Yesterday the input went bad on the sound card I was using for the meteor logger. It is now running again now on a turtle beach USB sound card (an Amigo II) that I had on hand. Turtle beach to the rescue. If you have the %#!@ touch with sound cards like I do, you may want to keep a couple of these on hand. ;)

2014-10-21
As Murphy's law would indicate, on 2014-10-21 (Peak of Orionid meteor shower) the computer that has been running the meteor logger flawlessly for over 2 months unexpectedly rebooted while I was sleeping and so I lost a good chunk of data. (~7am-~11:40am)
Visually I saw 27 meteors at a rate close to 3 times normal meteor rates from my locaton while the logger while running does not show a significantly higher rate. It is possible that most of the meteors associated with this shower were not strong enough to make non specular detections with my current setup.

Meteor showers

2014


Quadrantids Active January 1-10, peak January 2-3
Lyrids Active April 16-25, peak April 21-22
Eta Aquariids Active April 19-May 26, peak May 5-6
Delta Aquariids Active July 21-August 23, peak July 27-28
Alpha Capricornids Active July 11-August 10, peak July 28-29
Perseids Active July 13-August 26, peak August 11-12
Orionids Active October 4-November 14, peak October 21-22
Southern Taurids Active September 7-November 19, peak October 8-9
Northern Taurids Active October 19-December 10, peak November 12-13
Leonids Active November 5-30, peak November 17-18
Geminids Active December 4-16, peak December 13-14
Ursids Active December 17-23, peak December 21-22

2015

Quadrantids Active January 1-10, peak January 3-4
Lyrids Active April 16-25, peak April 22-23
Eta Aquariids Active April 19-May 26, peak May 6-7
Delta Aquariids Active July 21-August 23, peak July 28-29
Alpha Capricornids Active July 11-August 10, peak July 27-28
Perseids Active July 13-August 26, peak August 12-13
Orionids Active October 4-November 14, peak October 21-22
Southern Taurids Active September 7-November 19, peak October 23-24
Northern Taurids Active October 19-December 10, peak November 11-12
Leonids Active November 5-30, peak November 17-18
Geminids Active December 4-16, peak December 13-14
Ursids Active December 17-23, peak December 21-22

(Source: American Meteor Society)

About

Meteor detection using an out of range TV station

Radio meteor detection can be done by tuning in a video signal of a VHF TV station which you normally do not get a signal on and is within a couple hundred miles. The reason this works is when meteors enter the earth's atmosphere the heat and the pressure ionizes the air. The ionized air works as a radio mirror for a short time. The radio signal of the TV station bounces off of the ionized trail and you can hear the station for a very short duration.

These charts were originally made by monitoring the frequency of analog TV channel 6, (83.250 Mhz) using CW mode. The current charts are monitoring a digital TV stations ATSC pilot frequency with my radio tuned to 82.3094 Mhz in CW mode and analyzing the results using conditional actions using Spectrum Laboratory http://freenet-homepage.de/dl4yhf/spectra1.html
Some custom programing to remove airplane, satellite and duplicate detections and create the charts.
Detecting meteors after the digital TV transition
Digital television transmitions contain a carrier frequency that is suitable for detecting meteors. Currently I am detecting meteors using the ATSC pilot frequency of digital TV station channel 6 (82.31 Mhz). I had to tune down a little to 82.3094 Mhz but your exact tuning may vary. With the radio turned to 82.3094 Mhz in CW mode I get an audio signal of about 850 Hz when a meteor is detected.
What a typical detection sounds like
Below is a link to an audio file (wav) containing what a typical detection sounds like along with some background noise. Best to right click and choose "save as" and then play in your preferred audio player.
Typical detection

Charts

Frequency and Time



Frequency and Time - Lyrid Meteor Shower


Amplitude and Frequency
Note the gap between 775 and 895 hz, that is part of the airplane filter



Perseid Meteor shower 8/12/2014

Amplitude and Frequency

Frequency and time


Archive

Visually witnessed detected meteor

Just after 1 AM on August 31, 2014 a friend and I witnessed a bright meteor in the West, moving East to West. We checked the meteor logger and the meteor showed on the FFT and the meteor was detected.
Part of FFT showing the meteor echo (red line on lower right of image)


Frequency chart showing the meteor detection


Data of actual detection (DateTime, Frequency, Amplitude)
08-31-2014 01:00:12,1010.3,-63.5
08-31-2014 01:00:12,1010.3,-63
08-31-2014 01:00:13,1013.7,-64.3
08-31-2014 01:00:13,1013.1,-65.1
08-31-2014 01:00:14,1013,-62.2
08-31-2014 01:00:14,1013,-64
08-31-2014 01:00:14,1012.1,-66.1
08-31-2014 01:00:15,1008.4,-64.6
08-31-2014 01:00:15,1008.4,-64.2
08-31-2014 01:00:15,1008.2,-65.8
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