So this week the team migrated the SatNOGS database to its new platform. This operation was crucial and ensures that we have a stable and well scalable database. Whilst the total data held on the database might not be huge, it contains a very large number of files. Overall, the migration went well and downtime was kept to a minimum. We would like to thank the team for their hard work making this a flawless process.
How to Schedule an Observation blogpost
This week a blog appeared with a walk through of screenshots explaining how a ground station owner schedules observations on the SatNOGS network. This aspect of the SatNOGS network is accessible only once someone has a station set up therefore it’s helpful to show people how easy they are to use once they do! Check out the blog here.
ARISS Contact Kenilworth, UK
On the 14th December many SatNOGS stations were able to hear an ARISS contact scheduled between Kenilworth School and Sixth form College and the International Space Station. The scheduled astronaut was Serena Aunon-Chancellor KG5TMT. As usual, you can find the list of successful observations and can listen to them via this post on the Libre Space Community page.
Rocketlab Electron Curie Launch and Hunting Satellites!
This week Rocketlab successfully launched their Electron ELaNA-19 mission succefully and deployed some satellites to orbit. As with every new launch, the SatNOGS team and community have been trying to hunt the satellites. Currently 5 satellites TLE’s and information have been made available and one satellite has been heard! Additionally, track the development of this over at this post on the Libre Space community page.
SatNOGS is maintained by the Libre Space Foundation, a non-profit built to develop and promote open source space technologies and open access to space-related data. The passion we have for space and open source is what drives us, and we are proud of the community that has been built around SatNOGS. Over the past four years of development, the SatNOGS community has grown to more than 100 ground stations around the world with more than 2000 satellite observations per day.
On November 27th, Amazon announced the AWS Ground Station service. Like othercompanies who are currently operating ground stations as a service, this will allow satellite operators to receive their data using proprietary and closed-source technologies. The SatNOGS community is focused on building a ground station network that provides downlinked satellite data to researchers and operators worldwide, in an open way and free of charge. As we have for four years, SatNOGS will continue to serve organizations and missions that value the openness of science and data.
With Amazon and other companies entering this space, our vision for SatNOGS remains the same: to advance open technologies and open data for space by creating the best and largest open source satellite ground station network.
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!
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.
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!
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 balloon launched from the center of the Peloponisos peninsula of Greece in the city of Megalopolis at Plaka airstrip at around 11:10.
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
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.