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Summary of Russian Meteorological METEOR Satellites

Meteor 2-21
This is the last of the second generation Meteor satellite series. This and similar satellites are in a non sun-synchronous orbit, so the visible channel imagery is useful for only a portion of the year.

This spacecraft transmits on the 137.850 MHz channel with normal 120 line per minute visible mode APT. It can alternately transmit on 137.400 MHz. It continues to show very decreased signal strength during the approaching part of each orbital pass. This would be consistent with a improperly deployed VHF antenna or perhaps some damage to the antenna during launch. The second part of each pass (as the spacecraft passes away from the observer) has a much stronger signal, but is still weaker when compared to Meteor 3-5 or any of the NOAA series spacecraft.

Currently the spacecraft is in an orbital plane with early morning and mid to late afternoon passes.

Meteor 3-5
This satellite, launched in 1991, is in a slightly higher orbit than Meteor 2-21. It transmits on 137.300 MHz. Mechanically, it is similar to Meteor 2-21. Which satellite is in operation depends on the sun angles and consequently the seasons. Meteor 3-5 is usually the (Northern Hemisphere) "summer" satellite while 2-21 is in operation for approximately the half-year centered on winter.

Information about the APT operating schedule and frequencies of the Meteor 2-21 and 3-5 satellites can usually be found on postings to the WXSAT-L list. See our links page for more information about subscribing to WXSAT-L.

The Meteor-3M series of satellites is to be an advanced series of polar orbiters with one 1.4 km resolution visible channel and a ten-channel radiometer with 3 km resolution. An APT transmission was planned to only have a reduced resolution (2 km) visible channel data. The first of these, Meteor 3M-N1, was launched in December 2001. The status of any APT capability on this satellite is unclear, but it is thought not to have an APT transmitter. No APT transmissions have been received from this satellite.

Russia also launched the RESURS 01-4 satellite in July 1998. This satellite carries a meteorological package similar to what was planned for the 3M series, and may be a cost saving effort to have these capabilities without launching a separate satellite. APT-like transmissions from RESURS have been heard on 137.40 MHz.

OKEAN 4 and SICH 1 are radar imaging satellites that have been monitored as they dump recorded image data. Both satellites have a transmission frequency of 137.400 MHz. Reception has usually only been within Europe.

More information about these satellites can be found at the "Sputnik" site in Russia. (You will leave the NOAASIS web site and NOAA domain when following this link)

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