Radio Astronomy

A brief explanation

Radio Astronomy:

Radio astronomy is the sub-area of ​​astronomy that studies the universe between 30 MHz and 700 GHz with radio waves. Instead of expensive receivers you can create a good receiver for meteors with a simple piece of hardware and a laptop.

 

Meteors:

You can't capture a meteor itself with radio, but you can record the so-called ionization track that a meteor leaves behind. In France there is the Graves transmitter that broadcasts a specific carrier. We can capture the reflected signal with SDR (Software Defined Radio). So you can detect meteors that you cannot see because of the distance.

 

Equipment:

For that you need an antenna. I use a 4 Elements 2 meter band Yagi antenna on a rotor.

A receiver, nowadays we use a RTL-SDR USB dongle.

And software, One application to convert the signal to audio and one to make a spectrum using FFT (Fast Fourier Analysis).

I use CubicSDR and SpecLab (under Wine on an Apple iMac.)

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