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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
That’s right! Over 300 stations are now supplying data to the SatNOGS database. This group comprises of the ground stations on the SatNOGS network and also those stations that chose to add data manually. Huge thanks to everyone in the community working hard to achieve this. For statistics about the SatNOGS database visit this page.
Dashboard Development Continues
The team have been working hard to refine and redevelop the SatNOGS dashboard project. Major changes have taken place and with that, you may have noticed some satellites and dashboards not currently updating. To help follow progress, there’s a dashboard that shows daily decoded frames per satellite here. To follow updates and discussion on the dashboard project check out this thread on the Libre Space community page.
SatNOGS Demo Display from 35c3
Fabulous community member ar3itrary set up a great SatNOGS demo display at 35c3. A python script rendering the waterfall of the latest SatNOGS observation, to a nice info graphic is set to update every minute as a cron job. The python script is available here.
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.