Fort Worth Radio Meteor Station - AA5TB

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Welcome to my meteor receiver located in Fort Worth, Texas. This type of receiver is also known as a Radio Meteor Station in the astronomy field. Here streaming receiver audio is available (see link above) of detected forward-scattered signals reflecting off of ionized columns of gas created by meteors. This is a radar of sorts in that it is a bi-static system using multiple fixed transmitters and a single receiver. This is an experimental station and the audio stream will only be available on a part time basis. Note that there is a several seconds delay from when a meteor event occurs and when you hear it on the streaming audio.

During periods of no meteor activity you will hear only a slight hiss. The hours in the middle of the afternoon are the quietest times. However, at any time something can usually be heard after several minutes. Much of the time you can hear several pings a minute and even hear "storms" of meteors when none are predicted.

The receiver continuously listens to distant analog television carriers on VHF (i.e., Mexico) that can only be heard when some phenomenon enhances the propagation to the receiver's location. Most of the short duration signals heard are forward-scattered via ionized trails in the E-layer of the ionosphere. These trails are created when a meteor burns up upon entering the Earth's atmosphere. Most of these sound like short pings of a constant tone but on occasion a chirp can be heard due to Doppler effects from the nose of the meteor's ionization.

On a given TV channel, stations can be either have no offset, -10 kHz offset or +10 kHz offset. Stations on the same offset channel are actually separated by about 50 Hz. The receiver is in meteor scatter range of about 5 different stations on channel 2, negative offset. On this carrier offset frequency I can still hear about 5 different stations via meteor scatter, all separated by 50 Hz. If a meteor enters on a well positioned trajectory I can actually hear as the meteor passes between the receiver and each station individually! It almost sounds like wind chimes.

Because of the experimental nature of my setup, there may be times when I have audio streamed from sources other than the meteor receiver or none at all.

The station details are as follows:

Latitude: 32° 50' 43" N

Longitude: 97° 22' 36" W

Frequency: 55.240 MHz (Region 2 Ch. 2 Video Carrier Offset -)

I.F. Bandwidth: 300 Hz

AGC: Off

Mode: CW

BFO: USB (600 Hz)


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