Decoding Telemetry 101

Hello, everyone. I am pretty new to SatNogs, but have loads of commercial satellite experience, mostly with goundstations.

I am really interested in decoding telemetry and looking at the actual data. I have stumbled through some online decoders, played with an audio modem, etc. I have a couple of questions:

  1. Is there a wiki or thread for the newbie that will give me some step by step instructions on some basic ways to decode some simple telemetry? For example, I was using an audio modem to decode the audio stream from SatNogs observations. Then I tried to get the raw data into a decoder app - very limited success and is a very clunky way to do things.

  2. I do not have a tracking antenna yet (in progress), so I don’t really have a viable way of collecting raw data via a SDR. I have been playing with observation audio files only at this time. The question is: can I get raw observation data in a better format for demodulating/decoding for past observations?

  3. If anyone has a good starting point for the newbie wanting to see some telemetry, I am all ears. (Doesn’t have to be real time, but that would be a goal). (And I m not actually ‘all ears’ - just the 2)



Hey Brian, welcome to SatNOGS!

There are quite a few different ways of decoding by hand, some of which are documented here. However, our goal is to automate the process completely, which we have begun doing by writing telemetry decoders that then send the telemetry data to our new dashboard. So, if you’re interested in the actual data, the dashboard is where you want to head to.

If you want to read more about how data is collected and sent to the dashboard, see this thread.

-Corey KB9JHU

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Thanks a bunch for the reply - this is exactly what I am looking for.

My plan is to do some manual decoding to teach people how we get the raw telemetry, then show them the :beautiful: dashboard.

One last question - are there satellites out there that use SatNogs exclusively for the collection and transport of payload and telemetry data?


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I don’t think we could claim any to be exclusive… but there are a lot of operators who do their own collection as the satellites pass overhead their location, and then use our data to (greatly) supplement. I hope that answers your question?