The SatNOGS network has reached 5,000,000 observations and we are thrilled to share this news with you!
More specifically, on the 13th of November, Observation #5000000 was uploaded on the SatNOGS network from the 1126 – notch ground station in New Hampshire, USA. It was scheduled by user kc1ist and received data from satellite ACRUX-1.
And though the 5 millionth Observation was received from a satellite that is no longer active, still there are two interesting stories behind this observation that we would like to share with you. The first story revolves around the satellite ACRUX-1.
SatNOGS and ACRUX-1
Though nowadays, ACRUX-1 might be a “dead” satellite, the truth is that its story is not only fascinating but also indicative of the way the SatNOGS community operates. So let us take a closer look.
ACRUX-1, an Australian, university satellite, was launched at the end of June 2019. Upon deployment, the satellite was operating according to plan and for the first couple of days, everything was working fine. The TLEs had been released early on and the SatNOGS network was as usual, active and ready to track the satellite. But… after a few days of flying in space, ACRUX-1 went dead. And as the days passed and there was no signal received, everyone believed that that was the end for the satellite. The SatNOGS network though continued to keep an eye on ACRUX-1, by continuing to schedule observations.
It wasn’t until 5 months later, in December 2019, when a radio amateur picked up a signal of an “unknown” satellite and posted about it on Twitter https://twitter.com/CX8AF/status/1200969150094618624. A member of the SatNOGS network came across that tweet and recognised the “unknown” satellite. It was, in fact, ACRUX-1, that had begun transmitting again. The network was notified and it began tracking the satellite that inevitably became a priority. SatNOGS started receiving and collecting data about it!! ACRUX-1 was “resurrected” after almost 5 months and its signal was live again. Sadly, that transmission lasted only a couple of hours. One thing to note is that during its “resurrection”, the satellite transmitted in a different frequency than the one in the first place. And though the communication upon resurrection was maintained only for a few hours, the entire process was exciting to follow and monitor.
Before becoming Observation 5M, ACRUX-1 had numerous observations including Observation #1296318 scheduled back in December 2019, during its few hours of “resurrection”.
SatNOGS and the Hackaday Prize
Observation #5000000 was received on a day that is of great significance for SatNOGS. As years ago, on the 13th of November 2014 SatNOGS won the Hackaday Prize, and officially kick-started Libre Space Foundation. Since then and with the continuous help of the diverse community that supports us, SatNOGS has expanded and evolved into a global network, boasting amazing statistics.
More specifically, at present, the SatNOGS network counts over 260+ fully operational ground stations and 120+ in testing mode. The observations come from 710+ satellites and 1340 transmitters having delivered over 122M data frames.
We could not have done this without you!
As is the case with all the amazing milestones that SatNOGS has reached, this too is a result of the collaborative work and the continuous efforts made by hundreds of ground station owners around the globe. They are the ones who contribute to this milestone and to the success of the SatNOGS project itself. By investing their time and effort in this, they schedule, organise and perform satellite observations. It is because of the community and its members that SatNOGS has expanded greatly and has become the biggest collaborative, dynamic, global, open-source network of satellite ground stations.
Do you want to join our community and learn about open-source space technologies?
We always welcome people from around the globe who wish to contribute their time, knowledge and expertise to our projects. If you are interested in joining us check out the SatNOGS knowledge-base wiki and feel free to drop us a line on the community forums and our chat. We would love to hear from you and have you onboard the SatNOGS network and community. Join SatNOGS now and be part of the next million observations!
We are thrilled to have reached 5M observations and we are also grateful to be celebrating it with all of you. All the SatNOGS contributors, satellite operators, radio amateurs, space enthusiasts, university and scientific teams. It is because of you that SatNOGS keeps expanding and growing. Thank you.