AMSAT CubeSat Simulator

I don’t want to steal @KU2Y’s thunder but he hasn’t posted about this here yet and I think this community would be very interested.

At the AMSAT Symposium a few weeks back, Alan (@KU2Y) gave a presentation on the CubeSat Simulator he has worked on with Pat, N8PK.

It incorporates enough pieces to simulate a solar/battery powered cubesat that beacons telemetry data using a raspberry pi and an AX5043 board.

You can see his presentation about this on YouTube here (starting around 5:12:00).

Wiki and code for his project can be found at

Alan, the pics I took of your sim aren’t worthy of posting so if you have some to share please do!


Thanks for posting about it, Corey. Here is the paper we wrote for the AMSAT Space Symposium about it:

And here’s some pictures of it:

And here’s some solar panel current telemetry from it:

It is still in the prototyping stage, and all the documentation isn’t there yet (I’m finalizing the schematic for the solar power board which I hope to post in the next week or so), but we are looking for feedback on the design and as an educational tool.

We’ve been pleased so far at the response. Next year, AMSAT plans to build at least four of the CubeSat Simulators and loan them out for educational/demo events.

Feel free to message me directly if you have any questions or reply here.


We should add a dashboard for this!

And, as I already responded on twitter: I want one :heart_eyes:


Done a bit of work on supporting this in the SatNOGS Eco-System:

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What a great tool. Thanks for sharing. Now where is that credit card?


I also would like to thank for sharing. Great work!


What does your nickname mean?:slight_smile:

After chatting with @dl4pd we realized that it may be possible to use the whole SatNOGS framework for the simulator by using transmitters defined in the database and fake satellites available for scheduling in the network. The fake satellites would need to have NORAD IDs (in the >80000 range), and could be geostationary to cover all longitudes. Having geostationary satellites would mean that no Doppler corrections are applied, and that observations can be scheduled at any time.

I think geostationary satellites are supported by satnogs-network, though I am not sure how these are scheduled.

This may be a nice way to get more people involved into SatNOGS, as they could run a station locally using an rtlsdr with a simple antenna to sit next to the cubesat.


Where’s the fun in that? :wink: I think there’s a doppler simulator in progress in the here: (see also docs here: )

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Not sure if I get you right, Corey, but there’s real hardware involved! How could the doppler simulator help with that?
It also makes it ways harder to just switch on your “engineering model” and schedule a time limited observation that produces “real telemetry” :slight_smile:
If you wanted to just add another challenge - ok, got it :smile:

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After today’s discussion in the dev meeting, we choose 99999 norad id for it, if there isn’t any objection until Monday. It is an easy number to remember and a good start for working on decoders and grafana dashboard.

In the future, when norad id would not be the main id of a satellite, teams that use the simulator could probably add their own satellite (with its own unique id, independent of norad id) and their own dashboard.