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Software Defined Radio

Imagine being able to build your own advanced communications receiver from an inexpensive USB device that plugs straight in to your home computer. You download some free software, and presto, you can explore a vast region of the radio frequency spectrum on your computer screen and speakers. You observe the constantly changing waterfall display and learn to pick out different types of signals. By adjusting the settings you can listen to or decode much of the traffic yourself. Listen to satellites, aircraft, ships, mobiles, ground stations, aeronautical beacons and even the International Space Station. Display weather maps and satellite images. Check out all the Amateur Bands, of course: You can see and record all the transmissions simultaneously.