XRIT Ecosytem and Primer

Posted in GOES

Comet Neowise (C/2020 F3)

Posted in Uncategorized

XHRPT Ecosystem

There are many parts of operating a successful XHRPT station. In the diagram below you can see various radio options, demodulators, decoders, trackers and image processing options. Yes, there is some complexity, but that is part of the interest.

If you are interested in any of the following USA-Satcom software, please use the contact page for more info.

  • XHRPT Decoder
  • XHRPT Standalone Decoder (XSD)
  • UltraTrack
  • Various Streamers for SDRplay and Ettus Research SDRs

Please note that USA-Satcom does not export software to all countries.

Additionally, for GRC options you can visit TyNet.eu for community contributed GRC flow graphs.

Posted in POES

Mercury Transit of 2019

Got up way too early to capture this rare Mercury Transit. Mercury is small, about 1/3 the size of the Earth. Good thing there was no sunspots or Mercury would have been difficult to locate.

Mercury Transit

Posted in Astronomy Tagged ,

GOES-16 / 17 Setup Guide

Here is a great write up by Rodney AAA6RD, Region 6 Director for US Army MARS on his GOES-16/17 setup. The write-up includes what’s required, the setup details and the results.


Posted in Uncategorized

XHRPT Update

Getting close to releasing XHRPT decoder. Upgraded to now decode MetOp-A/B, FengYun-3A/B/C in addition to the previously supported NOAA-18/19/15 and Meteor-MN2. Here is a short video of a typical pass of MetOp-B AHRPT. The video has been speed up, so the entire pass is just 26 seconds.

And here is the resulting image from this pass.


Posted in Satellites, Spacecraft Tagged ,

Solar Eclipse 2017

I have posted a few images here.


Posted in Astronomy Tagged

Cyberspectrum #20 (WX Satellites) Slides

Yep, better late than never… Here are the slides from my WX Satellite presentation at Cyberspectrum #20 in the Fall of 2016.


Warning, it’s a big (45MB) PDF file because it includes quite a few images. Good Luck!


Posted in GOES, Satellites Tagged

XRIT Decoder for GOES Satellite

NOAA’s GOES-13 (East), GOES-15 (West) and now GOES-16 produce some amazing images. Both GOES-13 and GOES-15 broadcast weather images to users with suitable ground stations using a protocol called LRIT (Low Rate Information Transmission). GOES-16, a more advanced satellite does the same but uses a protocol called HRIT (High Rate Information Transmission). The parameters of each satellite are shown below.

In general, the LRIT and HRIT signals are not strong. There is not much room for a non-optimal setup. You need a good low noise figure LNA, a filter if you have nearby interference, high quality coax and a suitable antenna. Antennas can be a 1m or larger dish, a grid-style antenna or even a Yagi with suitable gain. The polarization from the satellites are Linear, so if you decide to use a circular feed just be aware that you will loose 3dB of the signal.

The latest version of the decoder software is shown below. It’s made up of two GUI panels. One for controlling demodulation and the other for controlling ingesting and image generation.

The ingesting portion of the application relies upon the Open Satellite Project parser that was developed by Lucas Teske. Other open source components are: Adaptive Entropy Coding library, Libcorrect, and SZIP.

Currently, there is support for the AirSpy, AirSpy Mini and SDRplay RSP2. The supported sample rates are 2.5 MSPS and 3 MSPS. IQ data flows from a dedicated streamer application over UDP to the demodulator.

AirSpy Streamer GUI Interface

If you have the proper equipment, are able to receive a high quality signal from any of the GOES satellite, and are interested in this software then please contact me for a demo package. Email me for current pricing using the address on the contact form.

Posted in GOES Tagged ,

Heat sink and shielding for HackRF One

The HackRF one PCB is manufactured with an option for a shield. This shield is available from NooElec. It’s a simple and quick addition, just some easy soldering. The hardest part is just removing the HackRF one from it’s plastic case.

Below you can see the shield framing installed.

Shield frame installed.

Shield frame installed.

Now with the lid installed and the job is complete.

Shield frame and lid installed.

Shield frame and lid installed.

Next up is adding a small (20mm x 20mm x 6mm) aluminum heatsink to the ARM processor. The ARM processor runs pretty hot on the HackRF and this heatsink will reduce the operating temperature, extending the life of the part. The heatsinks can be found for around $0.50 each on amazon. The most important item is the Arctic Alumina thermal *adhesive*, this ensures the heatsink makes good thermal contact and remains attached under high temperatures. The thermal adhesive can also be found in amazon for $7.99.

HackRF prep for heat sink.

HackRF prep for heat sink.

Below you can see my improvised method of ensuring good contact during the curing phase.

Weighting the adhesive.

Weighting the adhesive.

After about 1 hour the “delicate” process is now complete.

Heatsink installation complete.

Heatsink installation complete.

Close-up of heatsink.

Close-up of heatsink.

Posted in Projects Tagged