Building a Small Satellite to communicate with SatNOGS network


I am working with a team of college students to create our own atmospheric measuring satellite to launch into low earth orbit. We plan to utilize the SatNOGS network for communications and data download. The data gathered by the satellite is intended for public access and would ideally be stored to some cloud server somewhere easily accessible for data processing.

Is there any requirement in terms of hardware that we will need to install on the satellite in order to make connection to the SatNOGS network easier? Or is it as easy as transmitting in either UHF or VHF and the ground stations will do all the work of collecting the data? We are new to this satellite building business and are not sure how these satellites downlink their data without losing packets… Is there some sort of ping that is established between the ground station and the satellite before transmission commences? Or does the satellite just start to transmit and when a ground station picks it up, that is the data we recover?

any help/ pointing in the right direction is greatly appreciated!! :smiley:

Thanks in advance,

  • SDSU satellite design senior project

Hi @hillinator.

That’s great! From the communications point of you, we need the modulation type, the possible coding scheme as well as the framing. If it is one of the supported ones (AX.25 or a TI variant) we can support you without any modification. If you use any other, we can discuss it further.

Also we can support telemetry visualization through kaitai, if you provide enough information about the telemetry structure. Take a look at


Hello @hillinator

In general, the rule of thumb for the cubesats in Low Earth Orbit that Satnogs observes is that they transmit in fixed intervals telemetry frames where they announce the values of various system parameters. Depending on the mission, you could have a separate channel for transmitting the science data (after request from the ground or continuously), or you could use the same band both for the repeating telemetry and the science data