Automated Weather Satellite Ground Station

By on November 23, 2019
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This project will show you how to create a fully automated ground station that will receive and decode NOAA weather satellite images and upload them to your own website served from an Amazon AWS S3 bucket. With this project you don’t need your own server or have to run your own website infrastructure. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a modern Raspberry Pi (version 3 or 4), probably with Wi-Fi since it may be deployed outdoors. I used a RPi 3 model B. I have heard that a RPi Zero may not be powerful enough.
  • an RTL-SDR dongle. I recommend the RTL-SDR V3 dongle from the excellent RTL-SDR.COM blog.
  • an AWS account for hosting images and web content in an Amazon S3 bucket. You can sign up for the free tier for a year, and it’s still cheap after that.
  • a simple dipole antenna with elements 21 inches (53.4 cm) long and that can be adjusted to have a 120 degree angle between the elements. Here’s a great article on design or you can just buy this dipole kit, also from the RTL-SDR.COM blog.
  • coaxial cable to go from your antenna to Raspberry Pi + RTL-SDR dongle. The dipole antenna kit comes with 3m of RG174 coax, but I used 10 feet of RG58 coax.

 

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About Emanuele Signoretta

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