Have you considered installing a radiosonde_auto_rx station?


I’ve been a big fan of you guys for a long time and love the fact that you are based in Newcastle. I know that you host a TTN gateway at your headquarters in Adamstown and was wondering if you had considering setting up a radiosonde_auto_rx station?

radiosonde_auto_rx is an application used to track radiosondes launched by meteorological departments across the world. Here in Australia BOM launches daily radiosondes from 35 sites including at Newcastle Airport. These radiosondes broadcast at ~400 MHz with the RS41 radiosondes launched from Newcastle transmitting on 402.500 MHz.

They are attached to large helium balloons and rise to a high of 30,000m before bursting and returning to the ground with a parachute. They transmit their location and weather information such as temperature and humidity throughout this process which we can decode with radiosonde_auto_rx.

This information is received with an RTLSDR by radiosonde_auto_rx running on a Raspberry Pi where it is processed and uploaded to the SondeHub database where it joins the data from ~400 stations. You need a suitable antenna for receiving these signals but with a good setup, you can receive data from over 100km away.

The recommended setup is a Raspberry Pi 4 with an RTLSDR V3 dongle (which would be great if you could stock) however other dongles such as the Adafruit RTL2832 you stock should work albeit with lower accuracy.

The uploaded data is all freely accessible and powers the SondeHub Tracker which lets you track radiosondes across the world and predict where they will land. This landing prediction capability allows you to recover these radiosondes which can be reprogrammed and also reduces environmental littering as BOM makes no recovery attempts.

I see that you had a Radiosonde land right outside your office just a few weeks ago: SondeHub Tracker

*Full disclosure, I am a contributor to radiosonde_auto_rx and SondeHub Tracker


Hi Uskompuf,

Wow, your post was a great read! I had no idea there was such a community around radiosondes, and that the BOM sends them up so frequently, just to be discarded! Our admin team (who would be the ones to decide on the suggestions you’ve given) read this forum, so I’d say it’s only a matter of time before they pipe up with whether or not this would be a good project for us to undertake.

In the meantime, could you tell us about the advantages of having a denser network? (i.e. why bringing more people into the project helps it along?)

You’ve definitely gotten me interested in this, and I’ll be looking into this in my own time for sure! (once I have any that is :smiley: )



Hey James,

I’m glad you found the post interesting, I was introduced to the community earlier this year and have been learning ever since. We believe there are about ~1400 launch sites worldwide that launch >1000 sondes daily. You can view all of these sites on the SondeHub Tracker by enabling the launch site list in the settings tab.The SondeHub network only currently covers ~20% of these sites mainly in urban Europe, America, and Australia. We only cover about 10 of the 35 stations in Australia so it would be great to get some more.

The radiosonde_auto_rx wiki is a great resource along with the presentation by Mark Jessop & Michael Wheeler (creators of radiosonde_auto_rx and SondeHub) about radiosondes.


Hi Uskompuf,

I’m just learning about radiosondes now, I didn’t realise there were so many.
This reminds me a bit of geocaching and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone made a leaderboard to track radiosonde recoveries and turn it into an orienteering style hobby :laughing:


Hey Trent,

We actually have a recovery tab on the SondeHub Tracker where people can report recovered radiosondes. There is also the Chasemapper and rdz_ttgo_sonde programs which are designed specifically for mobile hunting.