Satellite Emitters monitored in the 136 to 138 MHz Band at Melbourne, Australia. 

Version : April 2018 – List checked, removed TIROS-10, HAMSAT

Name
Catalog
Number
COSPAR
ID
Frequency
MHz
Modulation
Notes
TRANSIT 965 1964-83D 136.653 FM/PM Note 1.
SOLRAD 7B 1291 1965-16D 136.80 FM/AM Note 2.
ALOUETTE 2 1804 1965-98A 136.98 Carrier only Note 18
ERS 15 2411 1966-77B 136.44 Carrier only Note 4
EGRS 7 2412 1966-77C 136.80 Carrier only Note 4a
ERS 20 2768 1967-40D 136.26 PM 910 Hz, 4 sec period Note 5.
ISIS 1 3669 1969-9A 136.41 Carrier only
EGRS 13 3891 1969-37B 136.80 Carrier only Note 3
S69-4 4237 1969-82E 137.41 Carrier only Note 8.
TIMATION II 4256 1969-82B 137.383 FM/AM Note 6.
SHINSEI 5485 1971-80A 136.695 Carrier only Daylight only
NOSS 5680 1971-110C 137.08 Carrier only Note 9.
NOAA 9 15427 1984-123A 136.77 Carrier only Note 16.
ECS 4 18351 1987-78B 137.139 PCM/FSK/PM Note 15
ECS 5 19331 1988-63B 137.142 PCM/FSK/PM Note 15
NOAA 15 25338 1998-30A 137.35
137.62
PCM/PM
AM/FM
DSB Note 10
APT Note 11
NOAA 18 28654 2005-18A 137.35
137.9125
PCM/PM
AM/FM
DSB
APT
NOAA 19 33591 2009-05A 137.77
137.10
PCM/PM
AM/FM
DSB
APT
Meteor-M N2 40069 2014-37A 137.100 QPSK LRPT 72 kbps    Note 17.
ORBCOMM various
various 137.2000
137.2250
137.2500
137.2875
137.3150
137.4400
137.4600
137.6625
137.6875
137.7125
137.7375
137.8000
&
137.5600
SDPSK

 

 

 

 

 

 

OQPSK

4800 bps PCM Subscriber Communicator downlink. Note 12.

 

 

 

 

 

57.6 kbps, 16 slot TDMA, Spacecraft to GES downlink. Note 12a.

VLD2 136.975 D8PSK Non satellite emitter in area.ICAO VHF Data Link Mode 2

Two Line Elements (TLE) from Space-Track (USAF site) and Celestrak – Dr T. S. Kelso’s NORAD format TLE site.
Name, Catalog number and COSPAR ID in bold have different names and numbers in TLEs.
Errors and Omissions are mine. Email corrections or suggestions.

Notes:

1 Launched on 13 Dec 1964 as the second operational TRANSIT spacecraft,  it should be more correctly called OSCAR -2, O-2 or NSS 30020. Unfortunately, the navigation system failed within 2 weeks of launch. The telemetry beacon can be CW or modulated depending on solar lighting conditions. The PAM data is 35 steps with a repeat cycle of about 12.5 seconds. Each step has a duty cycle of about 75% data value and 25% return to centre frequency value. These steps vary a 5400 Hz centre frequency sub carrier oscillator, IRIG 10, that then frequency modulates the RF carrier. Another SCO at 10.5 kHz, IRIG 12,  is sometimes present. It has a pattern of five pulses with gaps, followed by a longer gap at about a 1.5 Hz rate. A SSB receiver will resolve, separately, the carrier as a single tone and each of the sidebands as “musical” tones. Also see Maik Hermenau’s TRANSIT 5B5 page
2 The telemetry is a multiplex of six IRIG-106 7.5% bandwidth sub carrier oscillators, linearly added and amplitude modulate the RF carrier. IRIG 3 (730 Hz centre frequency) and IRIG 4 (960 Hz cf) vary in step over 3.6 second with 8 periods of 450 millisecond each. IRIG 5 (1300 Hz cf), IRIG 6 (1700 Hz cf) and IRIG 7 (2300 Hz cf) are all fixed at their lower deviation limit of 1202 Hz, 1572 Hz and 2127 Hz respectively. IRIG 8 (3000 Hz) drifts from the the lower limit, 2775 Hz, to the upper limit, 3225 Hz, over time.
3 Previously had IRIG 3 SCO, 730 Hz c.f., 16 segment, 0.67s per segment, PAM/FM/PM telemetry or just 680 Hz or CW
EGRS (Electronic & Geodetic Ranging Satellite or Experimental Geodetic Research Satellite) with a SECOR (Sequential Collation of Range) transponder.
4 Called SECOR 7 by Space-Track. The telemetry is random levels of about 8 seconds duration each, on a 1300 Hz centre frequency SCO that amplitude modulates the RF carrier. The RF exhibits short term frequency instability.
4a Called ERS-15 by Space-Track.
5 ERS-20 aka  OV5-3, sounds like a “moan”. OV5 series.
Unstable carrier (± 100 Hz), amplitude modulated with 910 Hz tone with approx. 4.6 second period.
It can be heard about an hour earlier every 2 days for up to 12 hours over a 3 to 4 week period with a repeat cycle of about 7 weeks.
An updated TLE was derived by Greg Roberts and Mike McCants in September 2007
6
Called OPS 7613 P/L 1 by Space-Track. Telemetry is PAM/FM/AM. 4 SCOs (Ch 4 960 Hz,Ch 6 1700 Hz, Ch 7 2300 Hz and  Ch 8 3000 Hz centre frequencies). PAM is 30 levels plus a min and max calibration/sync pulses over 4 secs. Ch 4 floating, Ch 6 & 7 are repeating patterns, Ch 8 is a 4 Hz clock.
8 POPPY program declassified 12 Sept 2005 by NRO. Preliminarily called POPPY-6B, also known as OPS 7613 P/L 4 or NRL PL162.
Historically but incorrectly called S69-4
9 POPPY program declassified 12 sept 2005 by NRO. Preliminarily called POPPY-7B. also known as OPS 7898 P/L 2, previously thought to be US Navy Ocean Surveillance System (NOSS), Sub-Satellite  Unit C (SSU-C). TLEs from Mike McCants’ classified section.
10 DSB – Direct Sounder Broadcast – 8320 bps TIROS Information Processor (TIP) data, Bi-phase-level encoded (Manchester), ±67° PM modulation, 1W, RHCP.
104, 8-bit words/minor frame. 20 bit sync code (EDE20 hex) + 4 bit S/C ID.
11 APT – Automatic Picture Transmission – 120 line/min Visible and Infrared video (1600 Hz BW) amplitude modulates a 2400 Hz carrier that then frequency modulates the 5W RF carrier, deviation is ±17 kHz. RHCP, ½ turn, ½ wavelength resonant quadrifilar antenna (boom deployed VRA on TIROS-N series spacecraft)
12 ORBCOMM spacecraft are frequency agile and may, can and do vary their downlink frequency on a orbit by orbit basis. (TLEs)
59 spacecraft  have been launched. These are
Flight Model 1 to 28, 30 to 36 (now called OG1 models) of which FM 1, 2, 3, 17, 22, 24, 25 26, 28 & 33 are not transmitting or have failed.
FM 29 was Concept Demonstration Satellite 3 and FM 37 to FM 41 were Quick Launch 1 to 5. All have failed.
FM 101  OG2 model, launched 8 Oct 2012, decayed 10 Oct 2012
FM 103, 104, 106, 107, 109 & 111 OG2 model launched 14 July 2014  (Orbtial Plane K)
FM 105, FM 108, FM 110, FM 112, FM 113, FM 114, FM 115, FM 116, FM 117, FM 118 & FM 119 OG2 model launched 22 December 2015
12a A Gateway Earth Station (NCC ID 120 (78 hex)) opened early 2007 at Rutherglen, Australia, about 250 km North of my location.
Multiple 125 msec bursts, 1 sec apart,  on 137.56 MHz
Photo  GoogleEarth Placemark
15 ECS-4 (EUTELSAT 1F4re-orbited above geostationary orbit December 2002 and drifting westward at approximately 5° per day.
The signal is 2-10 minute carrier on usually with data subcarrier and 20-40 minutes carrier off.
ECS-5 (EUTELSAT 1F5) re-orbited above geostationary orbit May 2000 and drifting westward at approximately 7.5° per day,
The signal is 50-70 minute carrier on usually with data subcarrier and 60-100 minutes carrier off.
Found during a recent mutal visibility period with ECS-4.
Telemetry is 160 bps NRZ TDM PCM data, Bi-Phase-Level coded, BPSK on 2560 Hz subcarrier, PM on 137.14 MHz at 8 Watts.
16 137.505 MHz not heard since December 2014.
NOAA-9-2011-5-16-0718.JPG
17 Meteor-M2
Rate ½, k = 7 Convolution coded, I = G1, Q = G2, Power I:Q = 1:1, Symbol Rate 72 or 80 kilosymbols per second
CCSDS Format. SCID 00, VCID 05 with 3 out of APIDs 64 to 69,  (MSU-MR channels 1 to 6)  or VCID 63, Fill
Can use either 72 kbps mode or 80 kbps Metop LRPT mode with Unique Word (UW) Insertion .
Can use either 137.10 or 137.90 MHz
More info on Oleg’s LRPT site
21 Mar 2016 LRPT on 137.90 MHz in 72 kbps mode, APID 64, 65, 68 & 70 (Vis, Vis, IR)
18 Alouette-2 on 136.59 MHz re-discovered by Raydel of Cuba in early August 2013.
Subsequently found to be  transmitting on 136.08 and 136.98 MHz as well.
136.08 MHz was a Wideband FM system for Sounder data with two sub-carriers, 22 and 30 kHz, FM/FM, 4W, 100 kHz bandwidth,
136.59 MHz was a Narrowband PM system for Experiment Data on 4 sub-carriers,3.9, 5.4. 14.5 & 22 kHz, PAM/FM/PM, 2 W, 50 kHz bandwidth and
136.98 MHz was a 100 mW CW tracking beacon
Currently, only 136.98 MHz CW is on
19 Hamsat not heard since December 2014, heard again from 19 September 2017 January 2018.
256 bps on ± 25.6 kHz subcarrier sidebands & ±51.2 kHz unmodulated sidebands

 

Spacecraft no longer heard  but still monitored occasionally Frequency Last Heard
PROSPERO (1971 Paper, 1973 Paper ,1975 Paper) 137.560 November 2003
MEGSAT-1  2000-57B/26546  1200 bps  PCM/PM   telemetry   Audio file 305 137.905 December 2011
TIROS-N 11060 1978-98A 137.77 Dec 2015
TIROS-10 1430 1965-51A 136.232 approx 1280 Hz. Very Intermittent operation.
HAMSAT        28650 2005-17B 137.20  PCM/PSK/PM 84 Note 19. Modulated carrier

Introduction

In 1986, there was an article by Greg Roberts in JESAUG entitled “Satellite Transmitting Status” that listed over 40 satellites that were reportedly transmitting in the VHF band of 136 to 138 MHz.  I had for some time being receiving APT from NOAA and METEOR weather satellites and had noticed various other signals (emitters) showing up at other times. Armed with this list of satellites and by manually  logging times and frequencies, I was able to put names to some of those emitters. I then had to obtained TLEs from the NASA GSFC RAID EBB via 300 bps modem and international dial-up (not cheap !).

I have limited my observations to the 136-138 MHz band. This is due to the requirement to have a bandpass cavity filter inserted between the crossed dipole antenna and the pre-amplifier to reduce RFI and cross modulation products. My location is between a freeway and 220 kV power transmission lines, in a suburb of the second largest city in Australia. It is NOT the most ideal site to monitor 50 mW of RF from LEO !!!

Telemetry is received via a vertically mounted, 2 element crossed dipole antenna, a  triple cavity filter, a pre-amp, an AR8600 Mk2 communications receiver and a SDR-14 digital radio.
The audio is analysed with SpectraVue and Spectrogram software.

Early References:

“Radio Transmissions from Outer Space”, Greg Roberts, ZS1B1, AMSAT-US Journal, March, 1980.
“Some Radio Transmission Observed in the 136-138 MHz Band between 1978 and 1984”, G. Roberts, Chapter 11, Table 11.5, The Satellite Experimenter’s Handbook, ARRL, 1985.
Satellite Transmitting Status“, Gregory Roberts, Journal of Environmental Satellite Amateur Users Group (JESAUG), pp.10-13, Vol 4 No 3, 86-3, 1986.
Satellite Radio Transmissions: 136-138 MHz“, Chapter 14, Table 14-10, The Satellite Experimenter’s Handbook, 2nd Edition, ARRL, 1990.
Space Frequency Listing, 136-137 MHz Downlink” and “Space Frequency Listing, 137-138 MHz Downlink” , Sven Grahn.