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November 2019


Posted on by AE0BQ

Satellite Network Of Ground Stations

SatNOGS is an open source satellite ground station and network, optimized for modularity, built from readily available and affordable tools and resources.

In a nutshell, SatNOGS is a network of satellite ground stations focused on observing and receiving the signal of satellites, particularly low earth orbit (LEO) cubesats.

SatNOGS explanation.png

SatNOGS is able to retrieve status and telemetry signals, data from payloads (experiments) from LEO satellites operating on the UHF and VHF bands, including the International Space Station.

SatNOGS stations are built using readily available materials, basic tools and machinery such as 3D printers and benchtop CNC, as provided by average hackerspaces. The cost to build a station from scratch and connect to the network runs about USD $300 to $500, but existing ham radio ground stations can also be adapted to reduce the hardware cost.

The mechanical rotator, diplexer, low noise amplifier, antennas and printed circuit board designs are all published under open source license, and full technical documentation and source code is made available publicly at no cost.

man sitting on mountaintop operating a satnogs station with a laptop computer

SatNOGS started in mid-April 2014, during the NASA Space App Challenge hackathon in based in Athens, Greece. The SatNOGS team won first place in the very first Hackaday Prize, which was so popular that they started the Libre Space Foundation.