Ground Station Site Requirements and Considerations

Hi everyone,

We at the Melbourne Space Program are starting the process of setting up a UHF ground station (for our ACRUX-2 mission) and were intending for it to be part of the SatNogs network.

We have a Yagi antenna and rotator already available to us and are currently in the process of inspecting possible GS locations.

As such, we wanted to better understand what the important site requirements and considerations are.
Currently, we are checking that we have an open view of the sky, there is no interference (confirm on waterfall) and have access to ethernet and power connections.

We weren’t sure about wind/weather considerations: how we account for them and what to look for when picking a GS site
Please also let me know if there are any other considerations that I may have missed.

Our current team doesn’t have any experience with setting up a GS and so we would appreciate any support/pointers :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance!


Hi, nice to hear you’re putting up a GS.
My recommendation is to look for a local ham club and ask if they know anyone with experience in this field. More specifically UHF and EME or satellites. If you’re lucky they have people willing to help out and give advice and also lend a hand. Not that this will be a EME station perhaps, but they will have a lot of experience with getting the most out of the setup. Also a important thing is to measure everything, making sure it works like it’s supposed to and ham’s are allowed to transmit in this spectrum so possible to test it that way also.

There’s also many experienced with these over here, @Kevin being one of them.
In my own experience I’d say good access to the antennas and the station itself, having it in a hard to reach spot means that murphy will put all the hard to find faults there :stuck_out_tongue:
If you don’t want to do serious DX’ing with it, you do not need to put it on a mountain or a 200m tower. Sharing sites with other RF intense hardware is not recommended. Don’t skimp out on hardware, stay away from RG58 :smiley: make sure everything works year after year and don’t break down when the first snow.
When you have a idea what hardware and a design, please share and we can all chime in on the details. Sometimes it’s not obvious from the specs that there’s issues etc.

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We would love to help, please join there is a lot of information and experience

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Thank you :smiling_face:, I’ll reach out to get a better idea of our site requirements.

In terms of equipment, we have a Yaesu G5500 rotator, NBS masts and a Yagi antenna, along with a rpi 4 and a limesdr mini.
We don’t really have a fleshed out design at this point, but we want our GS to both uplink and downlink, while being operated/monitored remotely (it will be placed on the roof of a University of Melbourne building and would potentially have limited access).
We would appreciate any guidance or advice, we are all newbies :smile:

If you don’t have any experience with RF technology, contact a local Ham Radio group, or better become a Ham Radio operator.

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