We study the 2015 Quadrantids using radio observations. The Quadrantids are an annually returning meteor shower occuring in the first week of January. We use publicly available radio observations from the BRAMS network (Belgian RAdio Meteor Stations) exploited by BISA.

Data were batch downloaded in a scripted fashion from the BRAMS website for the BEUCCL station, located at Uccle near Brussels. The data recorded on 3 and 4 January 2015 are fetched and are available as 576 files, covering 5 minutes of received signal each, amounting to a total file size of approx. 1.8 GB.

We run the meteor detection algorithm proposed by Roelandts (2014) and detailed here, using a threshold value of 0.05, determined here.

Spectrograms on which the meteor detections are marked by a vertical red dashed line are available in an album on flickr.

For this 48-hour period, a total of 763 meteors are detected, distributed as shown in the following plot.

We calculated the hourly rate for each second as the number of meteors detected in the preceding hour. This leads to the plot shown below. The blue dashed line indicates the maximum.

The Quadrantids peak is clearly visible in the early hours of the 4th of January. The maximum hourly rate is 62, which is the number of meteors counted between 01:43 and 02:43 on January 4th. After this maximum the rate drops quickly to normal levels of around 10 in the morning hours.

It would be interesting to conduct similar analyses for other meteor showers, and repeating this in subsequent years.

Check here for more on meteor detections: www.astrostatistics.org/projects/meteors