Orbital Weather Satellite Concert

Circumpolar orbiting satellites constantly scan the earth’s surface in 200 to 600 kilometers (LEO) altitude. The data is modulated onto a shortwave signal and transmitted to Earth. With an FM antenna (Disconne or turnstile) and a short-wave receiver, the signals can be received everywhere. A specially programmed decoder analyzes the signal (gray values of the image) and generates a real-time series of tones. Each data transmission of an over-flying satellite is thus translated into sounds. This sounds last as long as the reception range of the satellites in the short-wave horizon (elevation) is receivable, between 15 to 19 minutes.

The first concert was at »Kunstradio Ö1«
2006-06-25, 23.05-23.45 MEST / 21.05-21.45 UTC


Decoder programming: Oliver Maklott
NOAA Audio recording: Hartmut Schaksmeier
special thanks to Dr. Martin Cargnelli (ORF), Dr. Wolfgang Werner (TU Wien), Mag. Werner Smekal (TU Wien)

Real time sound trigger

  • approx. 40 min | 2006

Orbital Weather Satellite Concert