This sounds like an awesome project. I’m not sure we’re going to have a high enough gain antenna, but you might be able to make one yourself with a bit of research and careful tinkering. I don’t have a whole lot of experience in the RF world, but there are definitely a few Amateur radio enthusiasts floating around.
I’ve done a bit of googling and have found a couple of really great papers written as theses:
Especially look at the list of final recommendations in the CommSurvey.
You might also like to get an SDR and explore the radio waves in your area.
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