We are a group of university students building a ground station on campus. The goal of the ground station will be to do VHF/UHF communication with LEO small satellites. Our first-order requirement is to be able to downlink from MCubed-2, with the higher-order requirements including downlinking from other compatible satellites and being able to do uplinks. Eventually, we want to be able to decode all signals we downlink. The ground station will be located on the roof of a 144ft tall building.
The current list of hardware we’ve picked out is as follows:
Rotator: SatNOGS Rotator v3
Controller: SatNOGS Arduino Uno/CNC Shield Based Rotator Controller
SatNOGS Client / Platform: Raspberry Pi 3
We have the following questions:
What is the max size/weight/wind load that the Rotator v3 can handle?
What frequency band do satellites usually fall under?
How do you determine the gain requirement for antennas? What are your parameters to consider when picking out antennas? We were looking at M2’s 436CP16, 436CP30, and 436CP42UG models as well as WiMo’s X-Quad 432MHz. What are the opinions on them?
If we wanted to add a VHF antenna later on, is it advisable to place the UHF antenna directly on the rotator for now?
Could you provide some advice on how we should interface the ground station with an operations center (not at the same location)?
What hardware would you recommend for temperature/condition monitoring? What other parameters should we monitor within the electronics box?
Is there anything else we should consider with the current hardware we’ve picked out?
Thank you very much!