Development of an Automatic Echo-counting Program for HROFFT Spectrograms

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Radio meteor observations by Ham-band beacon or FM radio broadcasts using “Ham-band Radio meteor Observation Fast Fourier Transform” (HROFFT) an automatic operating software have been performed widely in recent days. Previously, counting of meteor echoes on the spectrograms of radio meteor observation was performed manually by observers. In the present paper, we introduce an automatic meteor echo counting software application. Although output images of the HROFFT contain both the features of meteor echoes and those of various types of noises, a newly developed image processing technique has been applied, resulting in software that enables a useful auto-counting tool. There exists a slight error in the processing on spectrograms when the observation site is affected by many disturbing noises. Nevertheless, comparison between software and manual counting revealed an agreement of almost 90%. Therefore, we can easily obtain a dataset of detection time, duration time, signal strength, and Doppler shift of each meteor echo from the HROFFT spectrograms. Using this software, statistical analyses of meteor activities is based on the results obtained at many Ham-band Radio meteor Observation (HRO) sites throughout the world, resulting in a very useful “standard” for monitoring meteor stream activities in real time.

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