Data Acquisition Software
The data acquisition consists of a special version (produced by the author) of the standard console application 'rtl_sdr.exe' and a Windows C# GUI wrapper. The author has modified the source code and recompiled to produce a version of 'rtl_sdr.exe' which uses 64-bit variables - necessary to handle files > 4 Gb in size. At a nominal sampling rate of 2.4 Msps the data size produced is about 17 Gbytes/hour.
The modified 'rtl_sdr.exe' console application is called from within the Windows GUI application with parameters set via the GUI. The IQ data is saved in a binary unsigned 8-bit file identified by a number of parameters in the filename. These filename parameters are used by the data analysis software to identify the conditions under which the data was acquired - e.g., centre frequency, sampling rate, doppler correction, time of acquisition, hardware configuration, target object...
The GUI calculates the time when the target passes through the antenna beam and initiates a scheduled data run of a duration corresponding to the passage of the target through the beam.