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.

SatNOGS Activity Update 2019-07-08

A Busy Few Weeks for New Satellites, Observations and Dashboards!

Between Rocketlab’s “make it rain”, Space X’s Falcon Heavy and the Soyuz launches over the last few weeks we have seen a lot of new satellites launched. Our community has been really busy scheduling observations, helping identify objects from early TLE and, of course, returning data and creating dashboards for them. Notably it has been fantastic that the community have been able to hear and create a dashboard for the Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 mission and it’s fabulous we have had mentions and praise from their channels.

As mentioned the community has been busy and numerous new dashboard are appearing including Lightsail 2 (above) and ACRUX-1 (below) and many more. Check out all our available dashboards here.

Finally to keep track of all this particular batch of launches and their status regarding SatNOGS observations/TLE/Dashboards and more check out the following two posts on the Libre Space Foundation Community forum.



LA1K SatNOGS Antenna Build


The amazing crew over at the Akademisk Radioklubb have been busy once again making more improvements to their SatNOGS station set up. Their latest blog has an update on their antenna builds. It’s great to see this thriving radio club’s activities and we are proud to have them on board!

Open Source Cubesat Workshop, Spread the word

We’ve talking a lot about OSCW on our social media channels this last week and its really exciting to see abstracts/submissions for talks start to arrive! We have (hopefully!) been reminding everyone why its an excellent idea (in our opinion) to come and join us at OSCW with some quotes from previous attendees like the one above from Daina Bouquin who is the  Head Librarian at Center for Astrophysics. Harvard & Smithsonian. If you are working on something space related using open source methodologies we would love to hear from you and you can send the OSCW team an abstract via this link.

SatNOGS Activity Update 2019-06-21

NepaliSat-1 received by Nepal SatNOGS ground station

The SatNOGS network is beginning to receive transmissions from some new satellites deployed from the International Space Station earlier this week. Amongst them it was wonderful to see our Nepali friends at Orion Space receive a signal from NepaliSat-1, Nepal’s first Satellite. The successful observation was received via their SatNOGS ground station. Orion Space use SatNOGS as a teaching tool in their programs that enable students in Nepal to have experiences of space related technologies. We are proud to be a part of their toolkit.

A Busy ARISS Week

It’s been a busy week for ARISS with June 19th seeing a contact between King Island District High School in Currie, TAS, Australia and Astronaut David St-Jacques. Then yesterday, June 20th, a contact between Rowan Preparatory School in Claygate, UK and astronaut Nick Hague.

Both ARISS contacts were observed by numerous SatNOGS ground stations and example observations can be found and listened too via these links.

King Island District High School – Astronaut David St-Jacques

Rowan Preparatory School in Claygate, UK – Astronaut Nick Hague.

LSF Team at Ham Radio Friedrickshafen

Finally a massive shout out to all the LSF crew who are attending Ham Radio Friedrichshafen. They are displaying and talking about the range of Libre Space projects including of course SatNOGS. If you are attending the event do go and chat to them and find out more about our activities and how you can get involved. They are at stand A1-562.

SatNOGS Activity Update 2019-06-03

Observations of the ISS Spacewalk Captured

On the 29th May cosmonauts,  Oleg Kononenko and Flight Alexey Ovchinin, undertook an EVA (spacewalk) outside the ISS to retrieve science experiments, install some new handrails and conduct some other routine maintenance. Numerous successful observations of the EVA were captured by ground stations on the network and you can listen to the EVA communications. This post on the Libre Space community forum has links to all the observations.

Antenna Types Comparison

SatNOGS legend Corey Shields has begun some comparative work on antennas. Corey is using the same location and the same observations to test directional ax/el yagi, a fixed low-gain yagi and finally a discone. It’s interesting work and Corey is posting his results and discussion here.

SatNOGS Activity Update 2019-05-07

SatNOGS articles in Hackspace Magazine

This months Hackspace Magazine has a large feature around space and makers. The article features SatNOGS Libre Space, UPsat and much more. There is a complete tutorial on how to set up a ground station and even a short tutorial on a DIY Slim Jim antenna. Hackspace magazine is part of the Raspberry Pi group and as such the SatNOGS tutorial was reproduced on the main Raspberry Pi site. The issue is available to order a print copy or to download a free PDF via this page.

French Language SatNOGS Presentation

SatNOGS community member Jujun has delivered a talk to the ADRI 38 audience about SatNOGS. Whilst my french is not strong, it’s apparent from the video he gives lots of detail about different types of SatNOGS ground station setups and presents lots of antenna ideas. Many thanks Jujun.

SatNOGS at Hamvention and Other Upcoming Events

Very pleased that SatNOGS will be represented at Hamvention 2019 which takes place between May 17th-19th in Ohio, USA. If you are attending do make sure to come and see us at booth 1006. We have a lot of events globally coming up with a SatNOGS or Libre Space presence and a full list can be found on this post over on the Libre Space Page.

SatNOGS Activity Update 2019-04-11

SatNOGS Community Help Kicksat Mission

Our fabulous community and in particular Cees Bassa helped out Zac Manchester in tracking down his Sprite satellites (a single PCB satellite that is around 35mm x 35mm) after they were deployed in a low earth orbit from the Kicksat2 cubesat mothership. Cees has been working on the Dwingeloo radio observatory and used this large dish to help track down these tiny craft. Exciting stuff.

Akademisk Radioklubb LA1K Station now online!


Our friends at the Akademisk RadioKlubb in Norway (who have been featured before here having helped a neighbouring station replace a rotator) have been busy and have commissioned another station. Named LA1K (which is the oldest operating call sign in Norway) we look forward to seeing lots of successful observations being returned by this great installation.

SatNOGS Activity Update 2019-02-21

SatNOGS Client Update and gr-satnogs , Time to update your stations!

We are very proud to announce new releases for satnogs-client 3 and gr-satnogs 4.

Notable changes on satnogs-client:

  • Support demodulator for Reaktor Hello World 2 satellite
  • Sent observation frequency in metadata
  • Add option for manual power level range in waterfall (there is an issue with this one, there will be an update in satnogs-client-ansible 2 later that will fix this.)

Notable changes on gr-satnogs:

  • Golay (24, 12) decoder
  • Demodulating flowgraph for the Reacktor Hello World Satellite
  • Fix of the baud rate issue in BPSK gr-script

For updating your station through ansible script (satnogs-setup) follow the instructions in this wiki page section 13.

Note that before running satnogs-setup you will need to update the OS and reboot as is described in the instructions.

MySat-1 First Received On SatNOGS network

Excellent work by Mark Jessop scheduling this observation resulted in the first results from the MYSAT-1 via station 232 on this observation. He passed the observation back to MYSAT-1 via their twitter feed and they were thrilled to say he was the first to hear and expressed their thanks.

Dashboard for MYSAT-1

Following on from the above story our fabulous contributor Patrick DL4DP has put together a dashboard for the MYSAT-1 mission which is publicly available here

Decoding eshail 2 go using gr-satellites

Its been a busy week for Patrick! He has also put together this great tutorial post on how he has used gr-satellites to decode the BSPK 400bps beacon on the EsHail-2 QO-100 transponder based on some ideas he had seen from Dani EA4GPZ. Check out this post here on the libre space community forum.

Recent Slow Scan TV images from the ISS

The recent slow scan TV image transmissions from the International Space Station organized by Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) & NASA On The Air (NOTA) as received by SatNOGS 📡 stations globally!

Links to posts on the libre space community forum for each of these ISS SSTV events can be found here;

Feb7-Feb8: https://community.libre.space/t/sstv-iss-ariss-nota-sl…/3436
Feb15-Feb17: https://community.libre.space/t/sstv-iss-ariss-nota-sl…/3437


A little late with this update but many SatNOGS contributors and team members made the trip to FOSDEM 2019 and got an opportunity to promote SatNOGS and also work together on various projects. A couple of posts on the Libre Space site and the SDR Makerspace site cover the trip and the varied events and activities well. Interest in SatNOGS was, as ever, high and we have seen people we talked to on the booth registering on the Libre Space forum which is great to see.

SatNOGS Activity Update 2019-01-27

Akademisk Radioklubb Repair LA1NGS Ground Station

This week a story from Trondheim Norway. We love this story because it shows the fabulous co-operative nature of the SatNOGS community. Established in 1923 Akademisk Radioklubb is the oldest amateur radio group in Norway. The group has been using the LA1NGS SatNOGS station to schedule observations. Owned by NTNU Small Satellite Lab and Orbit NTNU  they noticed that the rotator on LA1NGS had stopped working. Keen to help members of the Akademisk Radioklubb reached out and helped them replace the worn Yaesu G-5500 rotor with a new SPID SPX-02 . As reward they were given the G-5500 which they hope to refurbish and build their own station. More detail and lots of pictures on the Akademisk Radioklub blog.

Ground Station Hardware Report

Fabulous contributor Azisi has produced a useful report over on the Libre Space Foundation Community discussion forum. It collates the various hardware projects relating to creating ground station hardware and gives links to the repositories and to documentation. There is a real range of projects here from the rotator assembly through to small PCB notch filter to remove unwanted FM bands. Check out the post and get building here!

ARISS Contact Ashbury College Junior School, Ottawa Canada

Once again ground stations on the SatNOGS network captured a great ARISS conversation between a junior school and the international space station. For details of the contact and also to hear the observations themselves, be sure to check out the post on the Libre Space Foundation discussion forum.