SatNOGS Satellite Model Testing

What components (client, network, db, auto-scheduler) are needed for creating an offline testing station for a satellite? All of them? Can a comprehensive SatNOGS environment be setup locally, disconnected from the larger network?

We are looking to test our satellite’s integration into SatNOGS, meaning that we want to generate test observations before the satellite gets launched. Obviously we don’t want the testing ground station to connect into the larger network because the test observations would not be considered valid. We are still new to SatNOGS and would appreciate pointers to get ourselves started.


Hello @killick1 !

In principle yes. In practice there might be ways to test with just the client.

That’s certainly something we do in various phases of the development, so yes this is totally possible.

For your use-case, I would rather use network-dev and db-dev instances that we already host (although those are purposed as development instances for their respective projects).

It really depends on what you mean by “testing”. Would it be the decoders? The demodulators? The dashboards?

If you can share a bit more information (as much as you can actually :slight_smile: ) regarding your status, comms aspects and details of your mission, maybe we can help more along the way.



That sounds like a good idea because it would more closely mimic what our operations will look like.

By “testing” we want to demonstrate a message being sent from our satellite antenna and having it show up on the dashboard. We are specifically determining how to test the satellite’s integration with SatNOGS, so we can determine how feasible a solution it is and if we want to add our ground station to the network. This would include the demodulators, decoders, sending the data to the network, and the dashboard (seeing data in the network); plus whatever else we may not be aware of in the data path.

We are early into a new semester and into the process of ordering parts. Our currently public information is found at .


We have decided to go with the ADALM-PLUTO SDR for testing our transceiver and antenna; chosen for its ability to both receive and send. We have already acquired this and a RaspberryPi, and are looking use them with SatNOGS. This SDR is not listed as supported (uses IIO over RTL) so where would I add a module to the code to write my own support? Where is the layer between the client and the SDR?

Also, does SatNOGS support sending data to the satellite? How would I upload data to be sent? If not, where would be a good place to inject code like this?


I don’t have a pluto myself but I think you just ned to set driver=plutosdr

See Setup for LimeSDR Mini for some additional info.


I just updated the Software Defined Radio page in the wiki to explain this. SatNOGS is built upon GNU Radio and SoapySDR using gr-soapy.

The PlutoSDR is supported by SoapySDR when using the SoapyPlutoSDR module. This module is not pre-installed when following the SatNOGS Client Setup but it can be built & installed manually. I don’t know of any existing SatNOGS stations using the PlutoSDR yet. Please let us know of your results!


Thanks! We have noticed a lot of updates over the last
6 months that are really helpful!

We have successfully installed SoapyPluoSDR onto our RaspberryPi and with SoapySDRUtil --probe="driver=plutosdr" have verified that the pi can connect with the SDR. We assume that this command is equivallent to rtl_test from the troubleshooting page.

The troubleshooting page also mentions running for a manual test; but we have instead, is this equivalent?

How would we schedule a dummy observation to pick up a local signal (not from space) for testing purposes?

Indeed, the flowgraph was removed, but was added as a replacement instead (gr-satnogs@357e7a8). Of course you can also test with the flowgraph you linked which original purpose is the decoding of SSTV. To find all available flowgraphs follow the “generic” and “satellites” folders in satnogs-flowgraphs.

You could run a flowgraph manually and inspect the produced files (IQ, raw waterfall file and decoded data) as you already described. If this is working, e.g. no error on console, you can create a new station in network and configure your station.
Using SatNOGS network it’s not possible to schedule customized dummy observations, but for testing it’s ok to schedule “normal” observations via your station page or the New Observation page.