Category: updates

SatNOGS client March 2020 update

The time has come for a brand new update! We would like to announce that a new upgrade is available for the SatNOGS Client software. You are advised to check the SatNOGS Client Setup wiki page to find out more about how to upgrade and configure your station.

A few words on the new update

You will find that in the new version, Ansible has been updated to include all the latest stable SatNOGS Client, Radio and Setup Software. This new version sees a major shift towards new technologies and new architecture.

Advanced Configuration Settings

One of the most significant changes that this new release delivers is gr-soapy and the transition from the OsmoSDR library to the SoapySDR Library. This inclusion brings forth numerous performance improvements and expands support to include new, upcoming software-defined radio devices. As far as gr-soapy is concerned, it is a sub-activity of SDR Makerspace; an initiative brought on by ESA and Libre Space Foundation. The aim of this initiative is to develop several open-source, Software Defined Radio projects to enable, facilitate and support satellite communications. The latest SatNOGS update delivers to you this technology.

the SDR makerspace logo

What is more, this new release comes with more sensitive decoders allowing a wider range of data to be collected by the network. With each satellite pass, more valuable data is collected, enhancing observation results. Note that contributions have been made easier as the GNU Radio flowgraphs have been removed from gr-satnogs and have been granted a separate, dedicated repository satnogs-flowgraphs.  Lastly, satnogs-config, the SatNOGS client configuration utility, has been rewritten in Python allowing for rapid development of new configuration features.


SatNOGS constitutes an amazing open-sourced project comprised of a global network of satellite ground stations. It is a participatory project which allows for satellite information and data to be available to any observer and enthusiast. Not only can individuals utilize all available ground stations, as they have free access to those, but they can even communicate with the satellites. The data and the results of the observations carried out are distributed freely.

This aligns with our values as they are expressed in detail, in the Libre Space Manifesto. We firmly believe in the power of information and how it can drastically contribute to allowing humanity to explore new horizons. Free access to information can help develop and use knowledge differently, and even thrive in different ways while overall changing life for the better.  For this, we work hard towards expanding the network of ground stations as well as providing updates (like the one we released) for the SatNOGS software. We wish this project to run on the most up-to-date technology and architecture, offering improvements and making observations more accurate and efficient.

The latest update facilitates improvements in performance, technology, and architecture for a network of 200+ fully operational ground stations and 100+ in testing mode. These have delivered over 1.900.000 observations (and counting), from 400+ satellites and 880+ transmitters and over 64.800.000 data frames. With the latest release, we aim at improving this whole network of free information and knowledge and making it more accurate for the observer.

Map of the network of all the active ground stations and those in testing mode

Interested in joining this project?

If you found what you read interesting and you are fascinated by space you can join us in this inspirational project. You are welcome to be part of this global network of enthusiasts and observers and you can even build your own ground station. Visit the Get Started page and get all the information you need and all the steps you need to take to be part of our Community. An easy way to get started is to build your own omnidirectional station by following the steps found on the How-to Page. We would love to welcome you to our project and to our community!

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.