The following image was downloaded from the NOAA 19 polar orbiting meteorological satellite using a receiving system built by Philip Giersch for the Australian Space Academy.
|NOAA 19 is the latest and last of the TIROS-N series polar orbiting meteorological satellites to be launched. It was lofted into a sun-synchronous orbit by a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on 6 February 2009. The orbit is nearly circular (eccentricity = 0.0014) at an altitude on 870 km and an inclination of 98.97 degrees. The orbital period is 102.14 minutes. The satellite carries a suite of instruments to provide images of clouds and surface features in both the visible and infrared spectral bands. It also provides vertical profiles of atmospheric temperature and humidity, ozone distribution, and a space environmental module that provides data on energetic particle flux.|
High resolution data is transmitted back to Earth at L-band frequencies around 1700 MHz. The lower resolution data (above image) is transmitted at the VHF frequency of 137.1 MHz. The imagery is amplitude modulated on a sub-carrier of 2400 Hz which then frequency modulates the VHF carrier. This Automatic Picture Transmission (APT) is transmitted line by line as the satellite moves along in its orbit over the receiving station. The effective radiated power from the satellite is around 5 watts.
The two images are derived from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) instrument. The image on the left is the 'visible' light image (wavelength ~ 0.86 microns), whereas that on the right is an infrared image (wavelength ~ 10.8 microns). The left image is only present during daylight hours. The resolution of the transmitted image is 4km per 8-bit pixel. This produces images around 750 kB in size. The displayed image here has been further reduced in resolution to conform to the ASA web standard. Full resolution images are archived on site.
The green coastline, receiving station location marker (+) and geographical grid lines are added by a image processing program.
Australian Space Academy