Receiving amateur radio satellite beacons

A talk from EMF 2022 by Damian Bevan

On Friday June 3, 2022 at in Stage C

Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites are commonplace in day-to-day commercial applications such as fixed and mobile broadband provision, navigation, earth sensing etc.

In this talk we learn more about LEO satellites and how to listen to 'CW' (Morse code) beacon signals in the ‘two metre’ VHF Amateur Radio ‘Ham’ band, even for those equipped with nothing more than an internet-connected personal computer.

Along the way we mention some of the key physics-based aspects (orbits, azimuth and elevation, Doppler shift, etc.) and cover themes such as: a) Web-based satellite tracking software, b) Some candidate satellites to track, c) Signal receiving equipment, starting with purely web-software-based receivers, d) Antenna issues, e) Decoding the CW received signal, and finally f) Taking things further with more advanced topics.