North Korea's KMS-4 41332

Has anyone considered using SatNOGS observations to find satellites? For example, back in February 2016, there was a #KMS-4 effort with a couple of interested people to find North Korea’s KMS-4. Now that we have quite a few SatNOGS ground stations on UHF, would it possible to create a KMS-4 instance with maybe five or so “transmitters” in the 460-470 MHz band? If it’s still transmitting, we can probably crowd-source it.

Any interest?


It’s not a really good pass over Seattle in an hour and a half…

But I’m going to take a look.



Do we have TLEs?
Do we know any details on transmitters onboard (Freq. Modulation etc )?

If so it can be added in

If I knew them, this would be easy. Rumors are that it’s in the 460-470 MHz WX band…

I will try looking for it manually again … but with SatNOGS, we can try all around the world and maybe find it.

OK … can we try 469 MHz CW ? How wide would the track be?


I heard nothing on a very bad antenna, looking 460-470 MHz during the fly-over.


are you serious? You want me to take my time and resouces to thelp North Korea find a lost satellite that is transmitting in the wx band? Only if we intend to shut it down…

Hey Bob, we in Libre Space Foundation and the SatNOGS community, would never differentiate or discriminate against any signal originating from space and/or satellite, advising our community members and participants to just follow their local legislation. We believe that space-related and originating data (frequencies, telemetries, elements, information) should be freely and openly accessible to all without restrictions. That said each participant is obviously free to allocate their time and resources selectively towards the project (as everyone has their own specific interests and needs).

That was an unfortunate comment. I will assume that this was an attempt to make a joke always in good spirit :slight_smile:


Hey Pierros. It is very unfortunate that an official of Libre Space Foundation and the SatNOGS community would openly declare that all signals that originate from space and/or satellite are public domain unless the GS’s local legislation forbids it. As you, and most people know that your statement includes commercial and governmental signals. To purposely capture and store in a DB signals/data from protected sources from any point is illegal in most countries and the organizations that work with countries worldwide also forbid it.

I think that you were not thinking of such a universal statement, as I cannot believe that you think all satellite signals are free to anyone that wants them, within one’s local legislation.

If that were true, then any rogue government/entity would be morally and ethically correct in stealing information from other governments and companies, including private citizen’s information.

It would not be proper to let the governments/entities with the least morals and practiced ethics be the controlling power to set the rules, regulations and practices of this organizaion.

If you would like to move this conversation to its proper place, then please do so. But before you do, please explain clearly what you mean by your comment.

Thanks for the response Bob, please allow me to clarify to avoid misunderstandings.

I would (and no-one that supports open source btw) never support that all signals should be public domain :wink: That phrasing was not part of my response.[quote=“bob, post:9, topic:2210”]
To purposely capture and store in a DB signals/data from protected sources from any point is illegal in most countries and the organizations that work with countries worldwide also forbid it.

Although I completely agree with you (and SatNOGS DB is not storing such data), there are a few cases where lack of uniformal legislation provides us with interesting challenges. Some band allocations are not matching up globally (think 146-148 between IARU 1 and 2 regions) and some countries do not even publish their laws around those (or follow universal treaties). This is obviously not a reason to defy legislation, I am just raising an issue on the complex vs simplistic
(don’t touch commercial and gov freqs) approach on it.

Perhaps most importantly I would like to emphasize my initial wording:

Notice that the “content” of the data (to your point) is not included in my list. To make it super clear: We firmly believe that all nations and space players should publish the frequencies, basic information and orbital element sets for their space activities in an open and transparent way. Mutual and public disclosure of those is not compromising the privacy of the content of those activities (which we should respect at all times), but it ensures a better awareness that will ultimately contribute to the safety and peaceful co-existence of all space activities.


Thanks pierros for your clarifications
About your original post. Working with techincal and scientific terms is a bit confusing at best. And I am sure that different parts of the world interprets differently. One such terminology instance is the two terms “data and information”. Here is my comparison of the two terms; data is a collection of ‘stuff’ of some type that is stored usually as a unit, or group of files. We work with the data, which of itself is not information, but a collection unknowns. By manipulating the data, we sometimes glean information that can be used for some purpose.

So, storing data and storing information is not the same. The data may be incrypted and not usable at present. There is the conflict. The data that is useless today may be converted to information that we should not have at a later time, because it is not ours.

Sharing data with unruly neighbors is not be a good thing. The information contained in the data may be used for harm which was never intended.

In your initial post you listed 'originating data (frequencies, telemetries, elements, information) should be freely and openly accessible to all without restrictions."

I say again that data and information are not the same. If the bylaws of this organization contain the term information as a type of data, then it should be corrected.

We are treading on new ground with this open system. We must be careful in how we express ourselves and what we share. We must not share data and/or information with everyone. Information is power and we must not empower the murderous dictators that constantly threaten to kill inocent people with sticks and stones or nuclear weapons.

Thanks a lot for your time and space on the forum.You have clearly eased my mind of the dangers of what we are doing.

But, my initial post still stands as written,


I’m going to take a different approach here. I will put politics aside by stating that we should not discriminate against participation or signal collection based on political views. This should be a collaborative community that comes together on the shared goals of science, not to be divided against each other as our countries battle. (plus, it would be a never ending game of “Station A won’t participate in Country B’s receptions”)

Now, politics aside:

In the future, more cubesat operators are going to look to us as their source of data. SatNOGS is the tool. How we define the guidelines around this tool can have a definite butterfly effect down the road.

I think it is on us to introduce one restriction: international frequency coordination (ITU/IARU). This audience knows very well that space is exploding exponentially right now. New satellite operators are going to come to expect that they’ll be able to find their signal and data on our network. At what point would the network become a problem to space in general by enabling satellites that don’t adhere to international coordination?

This problem is young but its a problem that we should draw a line in the sand for nonetheless (and it is not just about KMS-4… swarm has been accused of launching 4 satellites that were denied coordination earlier this year).

‘but couldn’t ITU coordination become political?’ maybe… and until it can be proved to us that frequency coordination has become politicized we should back it. It is what currently prohibits a country from deciding they want to start using up 20mhz at 430mhz to broadcast TV, which would ruin everybody’s day, and then our network would be all for naught. Would we back that action with the stance that space should be free to all?


Thank you. Very well stated. If we continue with a totally open system, it definitely will fail as has certain HF frequency bands in the USA, and VHF in some countries. Without a form of restrictive guidelines, the rogue entities that launch satellites will surely control it.

ITU/IARU guidelines will at least keep us in line with cooperating world governments.

I would totally agree with that statement. For as long as we can (and makes sense) we should competely support and enforce ITU/IARU rules and not support violating entities and projects. Thanks for bringing this up and clarifying @cshields !