Stevenage pupil builds antenna to receive images from space

Denny and Gareth Davis with the finished antenna

Submitted by Mr. Power

An 11-year-old student at the Nobel School in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, he spent his Easter vacation expanding his consciousness and education, building an antenna to receive images from passing satellites.

Described as a “bright future ahead,” Danny Davis explained why and how he built the antenna: “As far as I can remember, the topics of space and satellites have interested me a lot.” Whether it’s probes designed to help explore distant planets or space stations traveling thousands of meters per second above our heads, the thought of space exploration is amazing.

“So when I discovered online that it was possible to get pictures directly from weather satellites when they passed overhead, I was forced to try the project.

“To receive signals from satellites, the antenna was absolutely necessary. So for two days, my father, Gareth Davis, and I built and connected a dual crossover antenna to Dipole Davis, using instructions we found on the Internet with a little more than some boards. of wood, coaxial cable and aluminum wires.

“Along with a small USB SDR and laptop, anyone can start recording radio signals coming from a wide variety of different locations.

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“Thanks to, I was able to track both NOAA and METEOR satellites as they traveled over the UK, which allowed us to start building amazing images of Europe.

“Older NOAA satellites transmit an analog signal that is very easy to decode, and newer METEOR satellites transmit digital signals, allowing for stunning fake color images, as opposed to low-resolution grayscale.

Image produced by Denny’s antenna

“Although deeply fascinated by the project, I also chose to give it a try, given that activities like this help students build a great appreciation for both science in general and demonstrate important applications in real life of concepts, taught subjects such as physics.

“For this reason, I would certainly encourage everyone with patience and determination to try to compose their own photos if they find the time.

Head of Biology at Stevenage School, Mr. Power, He said: “Denny is an impressive and hard-working young man who has a world of possibilities in front of him.

“His excellent achievements in school and his kind nature make him a very well-rounded person with a bright future ahead. We look forward to seeing many achievements in his future.”