Hacking Radiosondes?

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Has anyone looked at hacking a radiosonde?  The BOM uses Vaisala radiosondes
that include GPS hardware as well as data collection and transmitting
hardware/firmware. Perhaps the GPS side of things could be useful?  I seem
to recall the nature of the radio transmissions makes that side of things
difficult to use.

BOM Radiosondes drop out of the sky as an "expendable" devices.

dave




Re: Hacking Radiosondes?


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Can't say I've had any drop out of the sky into my backyard yet, but when I
do I'll crack one open and let you know.

Dave.

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Re: Hacking Radiosondes?



"news.uq.edu.au"
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**  A bit of Googling turns up some relevant facts.

1.  Radiosondes are attached to weather balloons on a long line and released
from a small number of sites around Australia a few times a week. One site
is in Darwin, another is at Adelaide airport while another is in Mt Gambier
in VIC.

2.  They typically transmit data on 402 or 403 MHz.

3.  The BOM track them with radar and likely use the same radar dishes to
receive the radio signals.

4.  Data is transmitted for 90 minutes or so after release.

5.  The data indicates the height and position of the radiosonde and
temperature of the air.

So, unless you live near one of the BOM release sites, have some very good
UHF receiving gear and a very long Yagi antenna and you are very patient  -
you chances of receiving any signal from one is slim to none.

This Wiki has some details and a very nice pic of what the OP is referring
to.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiosonde


.....  Phil




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Most stations do 2 flights a day, some 3; it used to be 4 at some but
cutbacks are cutting it back.



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Not to mention Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Sydney, Lord Howe Is, Norfolk
Island, Wagga Wagga, Moree, and Cobar - and that's just the the "NSW" ones.
Some are also released from navy and merchant ships.



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Not all are tracked with radar-  the sites that don't have radar tracking
use the GPS sondes;
Not all balloon flights have a sonde attached - some are wind-only flights,
where the wind is calculated by radar tracking.

The radar dish does not receive the sonde signal. Mostly an RB31 antenna
system is used.




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More or less; depends on when the balloon bursts and/or how far the sonde
ends up from the launch site.


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sonde data = Pressure, Temperature and hUmidity (PTU data), and gps data.



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balloons can end up hundreds of km's from the launch site - depends on what
the winds are doing as the balloon ascends (and descends).



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* see http://www.digitaldawgpound.org/nick84/post13%3 for hacks and more
info.
* go on a sonde flight
http://www.vaisala.com/weather/products/soundingvisualization.html


Swampy

"The only thing in life you have to do is die...everything else is
optional."



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I see little point in hacking such a thing (if you can get one).
All the stuff already exists in other purpose designed forms you can get
anywhere. e.g. GPS modules/trackers, RF data transmitters used in model
aircraft, environmental sensors etc.

Dave.

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Re: Hacking Radiosondes?


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Jesus Phil, have you missed your meds today? I didn't see anything in
his post that deserved that response, you're  a smart guy but that was
totally uncalled for.

--
Clint Sharp

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"Clint Sharp is Not "

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**  Which is clear testament to your monumental stupidity.




....   Phil





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Nope, I've just read his reply to your post again, all he did was add
more information to your post, he didn't attack you, he didn't say you
were wrong and he didn't call you names, you've over reacted big time
Phil.

Like I said Phil, you're a smart guy but that was just out of order.

Don't bother replying to abuse me, I won't see it, the technical
expertise you have is not worth wading through the bile and vitriol that
you spout whenever you imagine someone has slighted you.

Shame, when you're not on a rampage you seem like a decent guy.
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--
Clint Sharp

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 "Clint Sharp is A Dope "
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** The whole post was an utterly   SMARTARSE   attempt to piss on my post.

  YOU  are  100%  WRONG !!

  FUCK   OFF   -   IMBECILE .




.....  Phil






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The following is the model involved:



http://www.vaisala.com/files/Vaisala%20Radiosonde%20RS92-SGP%20brochure%202005.pdf



The instrument found had its balloon attached. Batteries had got wet and the
battery container had burst off the case. The hot wire sensor was broken but
otherwise the instrument seems in good shape.



These devices are a little more complex than their predecessors which were
waxed cardboard boxes with comparable contents.



dave



Re: Hacking Radiosondes?


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Be aware, the GPS units on a lot of these things are not GPS as you'd
recognise it, they don't output any sort of easily usable data stream.
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They sell on eBay UK for 'expendable' prices too, think I paid less than
5UKP inc postage for the last one I bought.

The GPS antenna inside is quite nice if you can be bothered to hack it
off and work out how to power it.
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--
Clint Sharp

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Does the BOM make any attempt to recover these things?

With so many launched every day I'm a little surprised they don't get
talked about more.

How would you go about finding one to hack? Track it?

Terry

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Even if they're light enough to not hurt people when they fall out of the
sky, I'm sure the BOM make efforts to ensure they come down in very sparsely
inhabited areas or at sea, by launching with the appropriate wind pattern.
Having one of these things lob as you're cruising at 110 Ks would be a Bad
Thing.



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I "assisted" the launch of a radar reflector only balloon @ Broome BOM which
is at the airport. They contact the tower & arrange clearance before
releasing it.

A work colleague found a Vaisala sonde on his Clackline hobby farm ~20 yrs
ago.



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from data extracted from the flatfile at
www.wmo.ch/pages/prog/www/ois/volume-a/vola-home.htm (19 Oct 09 version) and
its accompanying notes [figures where quickly added up, there may be small
errors ;>)  ]:
The BOM launch about 130 weather balloons each day, from 46 stations.
Some of these stations are Antarctic and some are on various islands in the
Indian and Pacific Oceans.
This leaves 37 stations on the mainland and Tas. These 37 stations launch
111 balloons each day. Of these 111 balloon flights only 35 are sonde
flights, the rest being wind only. These 35 sonde flights are released from
26 stations, most doing 1 flight (at 0000 UTC) and the rest 2 flights  (2nd
flight at 1200 UTC) [note: the flatfile has Sydney's 2 sonde flights at 0600
UTC and 1800 UTC, but this doesn't seem right as 0000/1200 is used
internationally]. Wind flights occur at 0000, 0600, 1200, 1800 UTC; stations
doing from 1 to 4 wind only flights.
The excel file on the same web page gives more info on the equipment used,
including which stations use gps sondes and which use standard sondes and
radar tracking - note this file is over 2 years old.

from a visit to the Cobar Met Office last year:
The balloons have a small parachute inserted inside them before they are
inflated; this is to slow the sonde on its descent. When someone in the
group asked the BOM bloke if people ever got hit, or property damaged, he
said that HE had never heard of it happening; [ he was a crusty old bugger
that had been in the BOM for long time].



Cheers

Gary



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I guess at that rate, and given the potential area of coverage and the
fact that much of it will probably be inaccessible it's pretty unlikely
to just happen across one.

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I'll take a look, just out of interest :)

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It would have been interesting to see whether he'd given the same answer
with respect to people finding them, without injury or damage.

It might be fun working out how to track the things, and if the transmit
live data to monitor them.

Terry

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**  Nope.


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** Only a handful are launched each day across Australia.

   Very few are ever found by anyone.


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** You buy them on eBay  - like everything else.

 Old, excess stock and no doubt defective units turn up at government
auctions and hence later on eBay.

 Then some imbecile buys them.



.....  Phil



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No fun buying them, anyone can buy them.

The thing that makes them special is the finding them, then re-purposing
them. That way they have a history .. a launch site and date .. a
recovery site and date .. something that makes them unique.

You could be the only person on the block with a garage door remote
controller made from the guts of a radiosonde launched from ...

:)

Terry

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"Terry Dawson"
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** Those launched from the east coast will wind up in the Tasman Sea or New
Zealand.

    Snip rest of your vapid drivel.



...  Phil




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"vapid". I had to look that up. Nice word.

Terry

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