Monitor SpaceX Rocket Launches With Software-Defined Radio

The amateur radio community has recently exploded with activity, especially in the area of ​​software-defined radio (SDR), as it has been found that a small cheap TV tuner can be controversial to do what only expensive equipment could have done before. One common compilation with these maps is air traffic monitoring, which sends packet flight data over the radio and can be easily retrieved and decoded now. It turns out that another type of vehicle, the SpaceX Falcon 9 spacecraft, also records data on the radio and with slightly improved hardware. it is possible to “listen” to these flights in a similar way.

Reddit users [derekcz] and [Xerbot] uses the HackRF module to listen to the data transmission of the Falcon 9 during its last startup. Although the HackRF is much more expensive equipment than the RTL-SDR switches used to listen to aircraft, it is also much more capable, with a range of 1 MHz to 6 GHz. Using this SDR periphery, as well as a 1.2 m redirected satellite dish, the duo was able to intercept radio transmissions from the flight rocket. From there, they were recorded with GNU Radio, converted to binary data and then translated into text.

The power supply appears to include a number of different elements, including time, location information, and other real-time data for the rocket’s flight. This is a great compilation that demonstrates the wide appeal of software-defined radio, and if you want to get started, it’s pretty easy. get a much cheaper dongle and use it for any app like this. Go check [Tom Nardi]is a piece of the last seven years of RTL-SDR to catch up on speed.

Thanks to [Adrian] for the top!