Author: Eleftherios Kosmas

SatNOGS Client Update for December 2020

The time has come to update your SatNOGS ground-stations with the latest version of the SatNOGS Client software. Detailed instructions on how to update your ground-station are available at the SatNOGS Client Setup wiki page. If you encounter a bug, don’t hesitate to file an issue in GitLab.

While this release is maintenance focused, see below for a detailed manifest of this update:

SatNOGS Software Manifest

  • SatNOGS Client Ansible
    • Version: 202012231828 2
    • Changelog
      • satnogs-radio: Bump ‘satnogs-flowgraphs’ version and its dependencies
  • SatNOGS Flowgraphs
    • Version: 1.3-1
    • Changelog
      • Adapt to the new whitening API that sets from the constructor the bit order
  • gr-satnogs
    • Version:
    • Changelog
      • New Features
        • Use C++11 lambdas instead of boost::bind(). This will allow compilation in recent versions of boost
        • Support for CRC16 AUG-CCITT
        • Add support for 0 length preambles at the IEEE 802.15.4 decoder
        • Add option at the IEEE 802.15.4 decoder to drop the invalid frames
        • Add support for error correction (up to 1 bit) at the AX.25 decoder
        • Whitening class now accepts at the constructor the bit alignment (MS or LS bit first)
        • Dropdown style selection of CRC algorithms in the GRC. The field is yet editable for custom definitions
        • Drop obsolete C-like code and make it object oriented
      • Bug Fixes
        • Fix AX100 metadata generation, in case no preamble is used (frames using SFD only)
        • Fix image generation at the SSTV
        • Fix UDP message sink to accept both pmt::blob() and pmt::dict()
        • Simplify the LO compensation
        • Fix AX.25 decoder producing too many invalid frames
        • Fix sensitivity of the AX.25 decoder. The decoder can now handle frames starting with only one AX.25 SYNC flag
        • Fix stdout output of the message sink block

5 years after winning the Hackaday prize

Five years ago, 13 November 2014, SatNOGS was announced as the winner of the first iteration of the Hackaday Prize.

The 1st iteration of the Hackaday Prize focused on open-source projects that would feature a connected device. The 1st prize winner would either win a trip to space as soon as it was commercially available or the cash option of $198,418. More than 700 projects signed up to the contest.

SatNOGS, the modular open-source technology stack that facilitates monitoring of satellite transmitted data, won the 1st place, and the grand prize. We opted to pick the cash option, which allowed us to bootstrap the creation of the Libre Space Foundation, a registered non-profit organization promoting the development of open-source space technologies.

UPSat minuted after deployment from the International Space Station

Soon enough, Libre Space Foundation had the chance to work on UPSat, a 20x10x10cm satellite, releasing all it’s design files, schematics, software under copyleft licenses. UPSat was deployed in orbit on May 15, 2017, and re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on November 13, 2018 (a year ago).

As Libre Space Foundation and the greater open-source space technologies gain more experience and expertise we are getting involved in several projects that will also affect the future of SatNOGS. Such as implementing European Space Agency’s SDR Maker Space activity bringing together the radio amateurs, GNURadio developers, and Software Defined Radio experts building open-source satellite communications solutions and working with the Wolbach Library of the Harvard and Smithsonian Center of Astrophysics to build MetaSat, a metadata schema for satellite data.

SatNOGS by the numbers

300+ operational ground-stations (200+ fully operational, 100+ in testing)

12,000,000+ observations

380+ satellites with 810+ transmitters monitored

51,000,000+ data frames

Our future plans involve, working on a new pico-satellite mission taking advantage of the large number of SatNOGS ground-stations, working on building SatNOGS ready solutions for CubeSat teams, and further collaborating with the open-source community to build sustainable projects.

If you are interested in the current and future state of SatNOGS don’t hesitate to check out Hackaday’s SatNOGS Update Hackchat, and watch “SatNOGS state of the union” talk by Fredy gave a few days ago in the Open Source Cubesat Workshop 2019 hosted by Libre Space Foundation in Athens, Greece.

We couldn’t be able to do all these without our ever-growing community and the support and encouragement we receive from organizations like Hackaday.

Celebrating the 1,000,000th SatNOGS observation!

Minutes ago, observation #1000000 got uploaded on the SatNOGS Network by station #2 in Bloomigton, Indiana USA operated by cshields receiving data from UNISAT-6 satellite.

This marks the continuous efforts of hundreds of owners of SatNOGS ground-stations operating numerous ground-stations globally (more than 170 stations on-line, more than 90 in testing and more soon to come) while continuously enhancing the network software and hardware solutions.

Want to join us for the next millions of observations? Check out our knowledge-base wiki, and don’t hesitate to reach out to the community forums and chat.

SatNOGS Activity Update 2019-08-27

LightSail2 solar-sail deployment

On our previous post we mentioned making a data dashboard based on data retrieved from LightSail2. Among this telemetry data are date stating the status of the solar sail on-obard LightSail2, the Planetary Society shares lots of info about this deployment.

The are lots of information on our wiki on how to create a decoder and how to make a telemetry dashboard while you can always get help from our active community forum. Since we mentioned LightSail2, the Planetary Society on the look-out (literally) for optical verification of its solar-sail deployment so don’t hesitate to look at the night skies.

The Space Library and SatNOGS

If you are following updates from the Libre Space Foundation’s websites work has started on the Space Library, a collaborative project of the Wolbach Library at the Center of Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian and & the Libre Space Foundation funded my the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The aim of the Space Library project is to assist new communities participate in satellite missions, engender public engagement in space science, and to fuel new research by improving access to scientific research artifacts and supporting their reuse.

Amongst its sub-projects will be MetaSat & LSTN. MetaSat will develop and prototype an open metadata schema to link data, software, and hardware from small-satellite missions. The schema will be designed with the small-satellite community and piloted on SatNOGS, LSTN (Library Space Technology Network), aims to engage novices, and for them to assess their capacity to use these technologies we are installing SatNOGS on public libraries.

SSTV (slow scan TV) events and automation

During the week of June-to-August Inter MAI and ARISS were transmitting SSTV images from the International Space Station. These images are uploaded on the network in most cases by a custom script but users are already implementing a GNU-radio out-of-tree module to facilitate the automatic decoding of such images in the future.

Dr Lucy Rogers write-up at RS-DesignSpark on building a SatNOGS station

Dr Lucy Rogers has set-up her own SatNOGS ground-station at her back garden inspired by Jo Hinchliffe’s article on a previous issue of Hackspace magazine, and she put together a great write-up on RS-DesignSpark documenting her installation.

Events and talks

Open Source Cubesat Workshop 2019 in Athens, Greece 14-16 October 2019

Contributors of SatNOGS and the greater open space technologies community will join us for this year’s iteration of Open Source Cubesat Workshop 2019 taking place in Athens, Greece hosted by our parent organization Libre Space Foundation.

Registrations are still open, and we will be excited if you join us (registration is free of charge but you have to sign-up in advance). The program includes SatNOGS-specific talks and workshops and several awesome open space technologies that are looking forward to work on.

38th ARRL/TAPR Digital Communications Conference in Detroit, MI United States of America 20-22 September 2019

The ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference is an international forum for radio amateurs to meet, publish their work, and present new ideas and techniques.

This year the four hour long Sunday seminar by Dan White, AD0CQ and Corey Shields, KB9JHU will be titled “Learn to build and operate your own SatNOGS ground station.

The seminar will be hand-on tutorial. Participants will interact with the SatNOGS web services themselves, and discuss other technologies in use such as: Python, GNURadio, InfluxDB, Kaitai Structs, and Grafana. Don’t hesitate to check the event and join them.

Wuthering Bytes in Hebden Bridge United Kingdom 30th August – 8th September 2019

The Wuthering Bytes technology festival, will be opening 30th of August at Hebden Bridge’s Town Hall and our very own Jo Hinchliffe will be talking about Libre Space Foundation’s project including (but not limited to) SatNOGS at 15:30 that very day so feel free to check it out.

SatNOGS rotator spotted in CCCamp 2019 in Mildenberg Zehdenick, Germany

The Chaos Communication Camp is an international, five-day open-air event for hackers and associated life-forms. Some awesome CCCamp goers set-up their on rotator during the event.

Getting started with SatNOGS – Raspberry Pi 3 images available

SatNOGS-Client development team member Vasillis, using PiGen and Gitlab CI, created a SatNOGS Client Raspbian image to use with your Raspberry Pi 3 for your SatNOGS ground-station. To install and setup the image you can follow the Raspbian sector in the Raspberry Pi 3 SatNOGS wiki page. Following the instructions will get you to the SatNOGS Client configuration screen, from there you can add your ground-station’s details via the basic setup.

  • If you already created a ground-station in the SatNOGS Network website (or it’s stage environment) you should provide the relevant data for your Raspberry Pi and soon you will see your ground-station on-line.
  • If you haven’t created a ground-station in the SatNOGS Network yet, you can create an account in the SatNOGS Network stage environment, and create a new ground station (Note: as soon as you are satisfied with your ground-station’s performance you will be able to migrate to the production instance of the SatNOGS Network).

  • If you don’t have a ground-station  you can either start building a SatNOGS Rotator, buy a commercial rotator using a commercial controller or even our ardushield, or simply use a no-rotator setup using a turnstile antenna, an LNA, an RTL-SDR, and your RaspberryPi 3 which is ideal as an introduction to SatNOGS and satellite hunting!

Since SatNOGS is not only a set of open source technologies but also a community effort don’t hesitate to reach out to the community, and our active channels IRC #satnogs at the Freenode server or the SatNOGS Matrix channel reachable by (both channels are bridged and riot keeps an archive of previous messages).

SatNOGS News – January 2017

SatNOGS community has been busy over the last couple of months, with many exciting updates on projects to share with you!



Rotator v3.1

First and foremost, the 3.1 version of the SatNOGS rotator is soon to be finalized. If you are already working with a v3 keep in mind that upgrading to 3.1 is pretty straightforward, on the meantime feel free to share your build progress or finished ground stations with our community We got have some stickers to send to SatNOGS ground station operators. We really hope that lot’s of people get to install their own v3.1 rotator and hook up to the SatNOGS network, and we are working on a way to get the v3.1 rotator design to as many people as possible.

New UHF antenna

We published a new UHF 8 turn helical antenna design.  Documentation and step-by-step build process is now public so everyone interested can build one on their own, using readily available tools and materials.

Updates on SatNOGS DB

Our crowd-sourced satellite database, SatNOGS DB, is expanding and will soon be powering Csete’s gpredict through it’s API. In the meantime we deployed new functionality that allows SatNOGS DB to visualize telemetry data captured using the SatNOGS Network of ground stations.


We really appreciate people participating in the SatNOGS project, either in our community website,  our IRC/Matrix chatroom, the SatNOGS Wiki, populating the SatNOGS database and our source code repositories but we also enjoy meeting people interested in SatNOGS in person.

linuxconfauLast week on taking place in Hobart,Australia, Scott Bragg’s gave a great talk titled “Decoding Satellites With SatNOGS“. It was a great overview of the SatNOGS project and the ways you can get involved.

shrAijm8_400x400Since most of the core SatNOGS team lives in Europe most of us will attend FOSDEM in Brussels,Belgium this February. There Manolis Surligas is giving a talk “SDR for Space the Open Way” focusing on the Software Defined Radio RF frontend and the GNU Radio module operating it and will be introduced in the coming versions of the SatNOGS client.

Stay tuned for more detailed updates, and as always … keep hunting satellites!



SatNOGS for satellite command and control

Although quite some time has passed since our last update the SatNOGS team and the community was busy working on it’s software and hardware components allowing modular setups.

A large amount of focus has being the SatNOGS client software. Allowing the user to not only use RTL-SDR based dongles but a far greater variety of SDR solutions using GnuRadio. In conjunction with that SatNOGS client is able to use Amateur Radios that are supported by hamlib (we’ve already tested on Yaesu and Kenwood radios). Such functionality paired with our new ground station hardware design, and further tests on after market designs such us Yaesu Az/El rotator would allow the SatNOGS network to not only receive but transmit data via the network to satellites.

Since a few months now Libre Space Foundation, the organization that assists the development, and operation of the SatNOGS networks is has being working together with the University of Patras on developing and manufacturing the first satellite with most of it’s components based open hardware and using free software, UPSat.

An open hardware and software satellite especially one build by Libre Space Foundation would be a great chance for the SatNOGS network to implement command and control features on it’s SatNOGS client, allowing a fully open Low Earth Orbiting satellite communication stack from earth to orbit and back.


Communications with the satellite are implemented through ECSS Standard Commands as described in ECSS-E-70-41A standard (CCSDS). You can checkout the code of the client on GitHub and the ecss services implemented on the satellite here. There has been a lot of effort to make sure that we implement all needed functionality on the SatNOGS client, while in parallel maintaining modularity and extensibility for future satellites and other protocols.

Do you have a satellite in the works and want to use SatNOGS client as command and control? Let us know and we will be happy to work with you expanding our client!


SatNOGS DB, the open satellite transmitter database opens for contributions

Early on, while developing SatNOGS, the SatNOGS team encountered the lack of a central and editable database for active satellite transmitters. Such information would be vital not only for SatNOGS operations but also for amateur radio operators interested in satellite telecommunications.

Over the past many years, lots of radio amateurs undertook the challenge by creating personal pages that would keep track of transmitter data, and although there are really fine examples of such efforts (props to PE0SAT, JE9PEL, OZ9AEC, AMSAT-UK and others) those are unfortunately not scalable approaches, that could easily become deprecated and are not easily exported for further usage.

Our solution was to create SatNOGS DB an open satellite transmitter database, that allows everyone to suggest transmitter information of active satellites and collaborate in keeping the database up-to date. SatNOGS DB information is freely and openly (CC-BY-SA) accessible via an API and a web application, to facilitate the needs of satellite radio operators across the globe.


Technically our current implementation is based on the Django Python framework. The code can be found here and we are looking for code contributors as always! Do you have any suggestions on how we can make SatNOGS DB better? File away issues here, so we can make DB better for everyone.

If you are a satellite operator, or an amateur radio enthusiast and would like to make suggestions on populating SatNOGS DB don’t hesitate to check out our FAQ on how to do so.

satnogs db

The more transmitter information we have, the easier it is to communicate with many more satellites. So get those contributions started, and together let’s create the holistic, open and crowd-sourced satellite transmitter database once and for all!

Introducing the Summer Of Code In Space 2015 student working on SatNOGS

42_digital_logo_dark_blue_sign_AAs posted a few months ago SatNOGS is participating as a mentor organization in European Space Agency’s Summer Of Code In Space 2015, during the call for proposals we received numerous interesting proposals to work on SatNOGS during summer as part of the Summer Of Code In Space initiative, from these proposals and with the consultation of the ESA SOCIS managers we choose 

Emilio Martínez’s proposal working on “a pre-amplifier with an integrated antenna polarization switch for cross YAGI-UDA UHF band antenna, and a U/V diplexer module for the SatNOGS ground station“. Emilio provided a highly detailed proposal for his work in SatNOGS and we are really excited to work with him during summer and beyond to the development of SatNOGS.

EmilioEmilio Martínez is a Spanish Telecommunication Engineering (MSc) student at
University of Granada. He defines himself as an enthusiast of space-related technology and he would like to focus his professional career on the space industry when he finishes his studies.

He is enrolled in an aerospace developing group at University of Granada called GranaSAT. This group isformed by students and professors with the goal of designing and developing a Cubesat mission. Currently, Emilio is developing his master’s thesis about the Communications System of the Granasat Cubesat and the satellite-earth link: designing the Cubesat communication hardware, defining the link budget and improving their ground station capabilities in order to reach a reliable communication.

The SatNOGS team is looking forward for the expertise and know-how Emilio brings to our project.

We welcome all contributors that would like to be involved in the SatNOGS project and we would like to encourage all parties interested in satellite communications to join our community of developers.

SatNOGS rotator tracking a high altitude balloon

Since the conception of the SatNOGS one of our design mantras was modularity, not only we believe that the SatNOGS stack should be able use a wide variety of components but also that components should be able to used in a wide variety of applications.

This Sunday May 1oth 2015 the SatNOGS team had the chance to test how versatile our SatNOGS rotator and control software was by tracking the Aeolus-2way High Altitude Balloon.

Tracking was made possible by receiving APRS data from the Aeolus-2way High Altitude Balloon and converting them using a specialized script as azimuth and elevation coordinates.

The Aeolus-2way is a high altitude balloon build by an awesome team of radio amateur high altitude balloon enthusiasts from Greece, and the help of several groups and organizations.

Aeolus team preparing the Aeolus-2way payload

The balloon launched from the center of the Peloponisos peninsula of Greece in the city of Megalopolis at Plaka airstrip at around 11:10.

Aeolus-2 way launch


The SatNOGS team was positioned 35 km (~21.7 miles) West – NorthWest of the launch site on the Antenna park near the Ano Dolianna village of Mt Parnon. An inverter was used to power two laptops sever ham radio transceivers and our SatNOGS rotator and provide sufficient power for the team’s needs

SatNOGS rotator tracking Aeolus-2way


SatNOGS running on power provided by automotive inverter

The balloon began it’s descent at 34.660 meters and it’s payload was successfully retrieved.

We would like to congratulate and thank all parties involved in this high altitude balloon launch for the great team work and cooperation and especially the Aeolus team for their commitment.