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.

IMG_0078
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.

IMG_0107
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

IMG_0115
SatNOGS rotator tracking Aeolus-2way

 

IMG_0114
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.

 

SatNOGS selected to participate in European Space Agency’s 2015 Summer of Code In Space

42_digital_logo_dark_blue_sign_A
SatNOGS is proud to participate in ESA’s Summer Of Code In Space 2015 as a mentoring organization.

ESA’s Summer Of Code In Space (also known as SOCIS) is an open source development program specifically for students run by the European Space Agency Under this program. ESA funds students to write space-related code for open source projects during the northern hemisphere’s summer.

If you are eligible to participate in SOCIS and interested in contributing code to the SatNOGS project, you may start by visiting our SOCIS project ideas page witch contains a list of suggested projects. Students are welcome to provide their own ideas for projects in collaboration with the SatNOGS developer community. The major communication and coordination systems of the SatNOGS project are its community forum and its github repositories.

We encourage every party interested to visit the SOCIS website, and follow read the list of frequently asked questions.

New lab equipment

Having access to an awesome 3D printer is certainly crucial for the SatNOGS project but the SatNOGS hardware is much more than 3D printed parts. To push the development of the ground station forward the core development team decided to acquire an oscilloscope, a programmable power supply and a Vector Network Analyzer

Following our ideal of sharing resources with the community, sharing it with the local hackerspace, we decided to install our instruments to it’s lab and share them with anyone interested.

In the future we plan to include to our instruments among other things a frequency generator and a signal analyzer.

 

 

 

We consider having access to a complete electromechanical lab/workspace is crucial not only for SatNOGS but for any community driven open hardware initiative.

 

LulzBot TAZ4 donated to the SatNOGS project

Since the beginning of the SatNOGS project we used 3D printed parts for our gears. To do so we mostly used a LulzBot Ao-100 3D printed donated by AlephObjects to hackerspace.gr a physical space in Athens Greece that most of the core SatNOGS teams are meeting and the home of our first permanently installed ground station.

To cover our needs we communicated with AlephObject in order to purchase a LulzBot TAZ4 3D printer. LulzBot didn’t only provided us with a superb open hardware 3D printer as usual but also they donated it to the SatNOGS project!

We are really excited by their offer, and stay true to the spirit of sharing that characterizes our project from the very beginning we decided to share our new 3D printer with the awesome community of the local hackerspace of Athens Greece a physical space dedicated to open hardware and software hacking.

Two generations of LulzBot 3D printers
Two generations of LulzBot

To celebrate the occasion members of our team and the local hackerspace gave a welcoming event, and our 3D printing expert showcased TAZ4 and it’s awesome capabilities. He gave a hands-on introduction in 3D printing in general, TAZ4 and PrintRun (the free -as in freedom- software controlling LulzBot). Members and visitors of the hackerspace had the chance to print their own stuff (from Rocktopus figures to OpenBCI electrodes).

We already printed lot’s of 3D printed parts for the ground station we’ve send in Brussels for FOSDEM and we are looking forward into printing even more and sharing our resources with the local community.

 

 

 

SatNOGS at FOSDEM

This weekend members from our core team of developers attended FOSDEM in Brussels Belgium for a scheduled lightning talk about the project.

At Saturday the  showcase the mobility features of the SatNOGS Ground Station they assembled one on the spot in under one hour.

For more than six hours the members of the team had the chance to showcase the SatNOGS hardware and get the invaluable input from fellow open source developers from across the word.

Next day the team had the chance to give a lightning talk in a packed amphitheater again assembling SatNOGS on the spot.

B8w2VJdIIAAKTWw.jpg:large

The “slides” of the presentation are available in github and powered by reveal.js, feel free to check them out and don’t hesitate to localize them 🙂

As soon as FOSDEM releases a video of the talk we will share it with a new update. Stay tuned.

 

SatNOGS #1 in Athens, Greece

10 days ago we deployed a SatNOGS v2 on top of hackerspace.gr in Athens, Greece. This is the first SatNOGS deployed on the field and we couldn’t help but thinking that this is a huge milestone and brings great pride to the team!

SatNOGS #1

(obviously the front cap is closed at the finished deployment)

The deployment was pretty straightforward, with one UHF helical antenna (our VHF is still up for matching) and no SatNOGS client controlling it (still under development for connection to Network). We simply controlled it with gPredict and Gqrx. POE for powering it up and minimal weather shielding (just some silicone on and around the bolts of the box)

We were able to track and record many different satellite passes and we encountered some software issues with our arduino homing code (see our post on community forum for details) which we hotfixed.

Congratulations to the whole SatNOGS team for the first deployment!

Observation Scheduler on Network

After a nice code push, scheduling observation functionality is now complete in SatNOGS Network website. The website is now able to dynamically calculate and schedule observation windows given a satellite for all available Ground Stations. The functionality works like this:

The observer enters the New Observation page. After selecting a Satellite and associated Transponder desired, the observer selects the timeframe for the observation. The timeframe selection is constrained in the future with maximum width being 8 hours (this could change as we scale the Network). After hitting ‘Calculate Observation’ the system returns a proposed Timeline of the observation, that includes the Ground Stations to be used and their individual observational windows. For this calculation we use PyEphem library and input the Ground Station locations, Satellite TLE, and timeframe desired.

Once the proposed timeline is reviewed and/or modified the observer can schedule the observation by hitting ‘Schedule Observation’. This creates the Observation in our database as planned, together with its associated individual observations for the Stations.

The Stations, through the Client, query the Network API frequently for scheduled individual observations.They then execute them on time, and push back the recorded data to Network, for further analysis by the Observers (making them also publicly available!)

Optimization of the Scheduling functionality will be further pursued. Ideas like deduplication of overlapping (more than 50%) individual observations, and accounting for horizon constrains are already in the works, and will be evaluated (in terms of their efficiency) as the Network scales up.

Check our code here and a live dev website here.
(requires registration for testing the New Observation functionality. Feel free to abuse!)

You can check a sceencast of the workflow in SatNOGS Network below: