Radio Detection Basics

Forward scatter



This software was written by Esko Lyytinen and his son Ölle. It is freeware. It is not used by many observers any more as it is getting a bit dated. It does however,  have several features going for it.

  1. It can be used on old, less capable computers running Windows95 and up.
  2. It has a very small foot print memory and hard drive wise
  3. It is not a cpu hog.
  4. It automatically records four amplitude ranges and records the duration of echoes for each amplitude category.
  5. It prints files every 10 minutes and hourly
  6. The file output format is supported by Colorgramme/Color Lab so can be used for automatic ftp to the RMOB live site.
  7. A 24 hour spectrogram image is saved at the end of the day.
  8. It has the ability to notch out a carrier in the echo count pass band if needed.
  9. Compares a 100 Hz pass band for echo signals and compares it to a nearby noise band.
  10. No scripts or programming needed, it’s plug and play.
  11. Runs for months without attention.

For the reasons listed above I run mAnalyzer in parallel with Spectrum Lab as cheap insurance.  It has saved critical data several times over the year when others have failed for various reasons.

Here is a sample of the 24 hour image produced by mAnalyzer (size has been reduced):

mANalyzer 24 hr

Blue hash marks are minute marks, light blue are ten minute markers, and red are the hourly markers. It takes two line per hour. This compressed time scale is an aide in seeing Es, sporadic E interference, aurora, and broadband noise that often affect the counts. This image was produced on 2010-01-03, the day of the Quadrantids peak. As can be seen there are two bands of clustered echo returns. Between the two is a few hours with less echoes than either side. This is a somewhat common occurrence caused by the radiant of the shower moving through the 45 degree elevations of the station’s site (maximum echoes at the two 45 degree points).

The format of the hourly result file (mhdata.txt) looks like this:

201001031000    10    0.043271    206
201001031100    11    0.043342    221
201001031200    12    0.052527    274
201001031300    13    0.051171    272
201001031400    14    0.052452    288

YYYYMMDDHHMM  UT hour  duration (percentage of period) and echo count for the hour.

The 10 minute file (mdata.txt) has this format:

201001031400,0.956661,0.015585,0.016652,0.010675,0.000427,0.000000,0.000000,27.817250,   11,   19,   15,    1,    0
201001031410,0.945536,0.018368,0.022426,0.013669,0.000000,0.000000,0.000000,28.487399,   15,   17,   20,    0,    0
201001031420,0.950897,0.015585,0.024125,0.009394,0.000000,0.000000,0.000000,27.483348,   12,   20,   14,    0,    0
201001031430,0.942357,0.022630,0.025833,0.008540,0.000213,0.000000,0.000427,27.523708,   17,   19,   12,    1,    0
201001031440,0.952818,0.020068,0.020709,0.005978,0.000000,0.000000,0.000427,27.587142,   19,   16,   12,    0,    0
201001031450,0.936166,0.021136,0.023271,0.019214,0.000213,0.000000,0.000000,28.522844,   12,   16,   19,    1,    0
201001031500,0.963691,0.016446,0.013242,0.006621,0.000000,0.000000,0.000000,27.663178,   20,   19,   10,    0,    0

Left to right:

  2. Percentage of time with no signal
  3. Percentage of time with Level 1 echoes 1-10 dB
  4. Percentage of time with Level 2 echoes 11-20 dB
  5. Percentage of time with Level 3 echoes 21-30 dB
  6. Percentage of time with Level 4 echoes 31-40 dB
  7. Percentage of time with Level 5 echoes > 40 dB Not used
  8. Percentage of time with with possible noise or interference
  9. Audio Index shows jumps if receiver volume control or sound card sound input changes.
  10. Level 1 echo counts 1-10 dB
  11. Level 2 echo counts 11-20 dB
  12. Level 3 echo counts  21-30 dB
  13. Level 4 echo counts 31-40 dB
  14. Level 5 echo counts > 40 dB Not used

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