GSoC Project: Improving the transmission capabilities of gr-satnogs-Michalis Raptakis

At Libre Space Foundation we support scientific research and knowledge by creating the conditions for people from around the world to be part of our community, to contribute, and learn. For the third year running, LSF participates in the Google Summer of Code programme as a mentoring organisation. Helping university students gain experience and knowledge by participating and contributing in fascinating projects and by being part of an active, inclusive and collaborative community.

This year, there are 3 projects which were chosen to participate in the programme and in the following weeks we will explore each project in detail. We will have a closer look at each project through the eyes of the students contributing to it.

Improving the Transmission capabilities of gr-satnogs

The first project we will focus on today is a project related to SatNOGS and developed by Michalis Raptakis, a student of Computer Science at the University of Crete. The project aims at improving the transmission capabilities of gr-satnogs. gr-satnogs is the Out-of-tree module of GNU-Radio that is used by SatNOGS (the world’s biggest, open-source network of satellite ground stations). Michalis will focus on expanding the existent transmission capabilities of SatNOGS by improving the gr-satnogs transmission framing API. He will also add new encoders to the existing AX.25 and IEEE 802.15.4, such as the Nanocom AX.100, various AMSAT-related encoders and more.
Αttempts to expand the transmission capabilities of gr-satnogs have already been made in the past. With relevant tests carried out on UPSat while in orbit, and on QUBIK-1 and QUBIK-2 in the lab.

The Progress so far

In the first months of the project, the encoders of Mode 5 and Mode 6 of the AX.100 modem have been implemented. If you want to learn more about the entire encoding process for each mode and how Michalis went about it, you can read this detailed analysis on his blog.

GSoC 2020 logo

The GSoC experience so far and the steps to follow

The Google Summer of Code programme is a great opportunity for University students to expand their horizons, hone their skills and gain knowledge and expertise. “Participating in an open-source project has proven to be a great experience so far” Michalis Raptakis points out. “I have gained new knowledge both in C++ coding and signal processing, as well as in my participation in a real group project. During this time I have gained more interest so that the work I share with the open-source community is the best possible both in terms of performance and quality. I also believe that I still have a lot to learn so that I can be an active member of both the organization and the open source community and in the future, I can share this knowledge.”

In the weeks to come, Michalis will be working on improving and optimising some of the SatNOGS features available and gaining even more knowledge and experience through the GSoC programme.

*You can read Michalis Raptakis’s blog and follow his progress here.