The SatNOGS team is preparing a limited number of turnkey kits for ground station operators with existing AZ/EL receiving stations to easily join the SatNOGS network. We are looking for operators who would be willing to run our client on their ground station with a Raspberry Pi and RTLSDR dongle when not otherwise in use. Our software allows for autonomous collection of RF signals from amateur radio satellites and research cubesats, in a client-network model. This would allow our network to have greater coverage for data collection of the ever growing number of cubesats in space today (see https://network.satnogs.org ). These kits are provided free of charge thanks to funding by the Libre Space Foundation. To qualify, see the criteria below, fill out a survey at SatNOGS Ground Station Kits and then speak with us at booth 1006 at the Dayton Hamvention. If you are unable to attend Hamvention and are still interested please fill out the survey, we will see what we can do based on response and demand.
Can navigate linux comfortably. The SatNOGS client is not yet to a friendly ‘appliance’ state, so there will be some settings to edit via command line, as well as extra configuration if you want to get the device on the network via wifi. At this point upgrades can require a bit of command line work as well.
You have a working AZ/EL system already, either with a controller that works with hamlib (rotctld) via USB or TCP/IP, or a Yaesu G-5500 rotator we can use our controller with.
Broadband network connectivity. Metered connections may see a strain from uploading of observation data (around ~30MB per observation today).
Willing to join the network with your ground station (of course). This would not commit your station full time, you are free to disable the client and take the station ‘offline’ for other uses (like making contacts), but ideally anytime you are not making use of your station we could keep it busy collecting observations. You are also encouraged to schedule your own observations across the network, making use of other ground stations across the world. Data collected through the SatNOGS network is licensed for free use through a Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license.
If you wish to discontinue using the kit we ask that it be returned to the SatNOGS team or passed on to another ground station owner who meets the criteria.
- Raspberry Pi 3 preloaded with Fedora 25 and preinstalled with SatNOGS client v.3 and gr-satnogs
- Power supply
- rtl-sdr receiver
- USB extension to provide relief to the rtlsdr
- Arduino UNO and daughterboard to control a Yaesu G-5500 (if needed)
- cable from shield to G-5500
What you provide:
- Rotator (if you have a Yaesu G-5500 and need a computer control module we include one for you)
- Antennas and necessary coax, duplexers, amplifiers.
- RTLSDR needs a SMA Male coax connection.
- Antenna configuration is up to you. While most signals we are interested are in the 144mhz and 440mhz amateur radio bands, any type of directional antenna in any combination of those bands should work (ie: single 440mhz yagi, or a 144mhz yagi and a 440mhz RHCP cross yagi, etc)
- Mast-mounted LNA is highly recommended but depending on your antennas and setup may not be required
- Internet connectivity. The client runs in a “pull” model, where it polls the network for scheduled observations once a minute. Completed observations are pushed back up to the website. No access into your network from the outside would be required.
- A desire to help! Join the network and help us schedule observations and collect interesting data. If you have python or gnuradio skills we can also use your help with the network, db, and client software! However, only Linux systems administration skills are needed to run and operate a client at this time.
Fill out our survey to get started! SatNOGS Ground Station Kits