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SatNOGS - Global Network of Ground Stations

SatNOGS is an open source ground station and network, optimized for modularity, built using affordable tools and resources.

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This project was created on 06/04/2014 and last updated 22 days ago.

SatNOGS project is a complete platform of an Open Source Networked Ground Station. The scope of the project is to create a full stack of open technologies based on open standards , and the construction of a full ground station as a showcase of the stack.
SatNOGS provides the basis for:

Bulk manufacturing and deployment of affordable Satellite Ground Stations
Modular design for integration with existing and future technologies
A platform for a variety of instrumentation around Satellite Ground Station operations
A firm platform for a Ground Station collaborative network (one to one, one to many, many to many)
A community based approach on Ground Station development
A solution for massive automation of operator-less Ground Stations based on open standards

Check out our documentation on the website for detailed info.

SatNOGS is a modular and scalable stack for Satellite Ground Station implementation. Fully based on open source technologies and open standards, it provides interoperability with existing or future subsystems.

A Global Management Network is the key part of our stack, connecting multiple observers with multiple ground stations enabling tracking and monitoring of satellites from multiple locations around the world. The data gathered will be publicly accessible through the network website.

SatNOGS project is implementing the above general stack design using 4 different sub-projects.

SatNOGS Network - Our observations, scheduling and discovery server

SatNOGS DB - Our crowd-sourced suggestions transponder info website

SatNOGS Client - An embedded system that receives the scheduled operation from Network, records an observation and sends it back

SatNOGS Ground Station - The actual ground station instrumentation with tracker, antennas, LNAs and connected to Client.

You can choose the configuration you want, re-using existing hardware:

The following System Design visualization depicts all subsystems of a reference implementation of a SatNOGS Ground Station.

A rendering of the finalized ground station (with front cover open) can be seen here:

  • 2 × Stepper Motor NEMA 14 or NEMA 17
  • 2 × 3D printed Gear Assembly Check our repo for designs
  • 1 × Arduino Micro For Alt/Az commands translation and commanding the stepper drivers
  • 1 × TP-Link wr703n For WiFi connectivity and routing
  • 2 × Signal Receiver DVB-T receiver based on RTL2832U
  • 2 × Yagi antenna For 2m and 70cm bands. Check repo for designs
  • 2 × A4988 Stepper Driver Pololu compatible
  • 1 × Odroid U3 For management interface, jobs queue, decoding and receiving
  • 1 × Full list of components can be found in individual BOMs in our repos

Project logs

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Build instructions

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ve7cer wrote 2 months ago point

Very nice antenna system,,am a HAM and have worked all the Russian Ham Sats when they were up,,2 meter up 10 meter down,,had a bay of 4 x 10 element 2 meter antennas trying to get in moments before and after the foot print was gone,,lots of work tracking,,LOL

Charlie ve7cer

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ninerDelta wrote 3 months ago point

Has anybody in this community built a SatNOG system?

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Adam Fabio wrote 2 months ago point

Not yet that I know of, but you can bet that there are a few in progress - I'll be building one of my soon !

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Tyler Anderson wrote 5 months ago point
Awesome job and congratulations! Now are you going to try tracking satellites from sub-orbit?

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Kojote wrote 5 months ago point
Congratulations, well earned - rock on!

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nGoline wrote 5 months ago point

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Guzzi wrote 5 months ago point
Congratulations to the winning team. Let's build a lot of base stations.

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erenemre wrote 5 months ago point

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NIKOS GIANNAKOPOULOS wrote 5 months ago point
Awesome !

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KR0SIV wrote 6 months ago point
Any update on the Satellite database sub-project site?

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Pierros Papadeas wrote 6 months ago point
You can check the dev site here (with real data)

We are still working on the suggestions functionality.

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n0p wrote 7 months ago 1 point
For the new electronics shield, I think it would be a nice addition to break out the unused arduino pins. For future upgrades and prototyping of other features.

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Pierros Papadeas wrote 7 months ago 2 points
Hey n0p. Indeed a breakout for the unused arduino pins could be useful in the future. We will make sure to add this on v2. If you want you can take a pass on a v2 too :)

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Fotis Georgatos wrote 8 months ago point
Hi Pierros et al,

I would like to point out, that if we are to implement a many-to-many configuration, this requires scheduling on at least two levels: A) global (=task submission) B) local (=execution site).

This is for example how the LCG (LHC Computing Grid) system has been implemented, crunching tons of data coming out of CERN, for some years already. Iff a FIFO queue at local (B) level is considered sufficient, then this has already been described how it's done in paper [1]; it is relatively trivial implementation for people experienced with the gLite middleware stack. Truth be told, that solution does not take into account celestial and orbital mechanics natively, at least not in a way that would yield near-optimal scheduling. Optimality here is a far more complex problem, which should rather be solved by the groups of users and resource owners. To do that, the concept of Virtual Organizations that grid systems provide, would become handy.

In short, there can be *some* initial solution, but for optimal utilization let's all honestly expect that this is a problem that will take some man-years of effort and tuning! If you are not sure why this would take time, try to play NetworKing [2] and you will understand ;-)

keep up,

[1] Solomos, N. H. and Georgatos, F. (2006), System aspects of the EUDOXOS observatories network. Astronomische Nachrichten, 327: 796–799. doi: 10.1002/asna.200610673

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ganzuul wrote 5 months ago point
Avoiding premature optimization is essential to hacking.

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Jasmine wrote 8 months ago point
Hello Pierros & SatNOGS team, I hope you received your Astronaut or Not t-shirts!

Just looking at your project and wanted to remind you that by August 20th you must have the following documentation on Hackaday Projects to be considered for the next round:
- A video less than 2 minutes long describing your project.
- At least 4 Project Logs (you need at least 3 more)
- A system design document (give us a visual overview of how it all works. Highlight the design doc in the details section)
- Links to code repositories, and remember to mention any licenses or permissions needed for your project. For example, if you are using software libraries you need to document that information.

You should also try to highlight how your project is 'Connected' and 'Open' in the details and video.

Good luck!

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Pierros Papadeas wrote 8 months ago point
Hey Jasmine,

The Video is linked (actually we made a second one too) and we will be publishing the rest of the logs by 20th of Aug. Also links to code repos are on the side.

Does the uploaded Design Document viz meet the requirements?

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Marios Papachristou wrote 8 months ago point
A great project from ardent developers!

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Fotis Georgatos wrote 8 months ago -1 point
Hello folks,

The idea of using 100s of SatNOGS together for tracking "whatever" has been buzzing in my mind, after the recent "astroexormisi" event in Mt. Elikonas, Greece, of last week!

There are a zillion of approaches to take about how to run such a setup and I'm growingly convinced that the best way may be to allow a bouquet of technologies to co-exist together.

I started looking at SPIKE and found out it's already 25 years old technology and many more things have sprung up in the meantime, see [1] [2] [3]. Windows of Opportunity (WoP) are an objective to highlight and calculating celestial and orbital mechanics may be the holy grail of this business. Subgroups of SatNOGs may be homogeneous or heterogenous, which affects scheduling dearly [4]. Finally, efforts to integrate observations with data reductions and network transfers should be overlooked and may become relevant [5].

Let me explain:
* This is by far and large a Multi-Objective-Optimization problem
* There are multiple scheduling platforms (SPIKE, ASPEN, Raptor/TALON)
* There are plenty of planning languages that could be of interest (ANML, PDDL, NDDL, AML)
* It is not clear if a push or pull scheduling (ref. "Condor") mechanism is optimal in efficiency
So, neither would ever any single approach be optimal for everybody at the same time!

In short, let's keep the current open API (congrats for that) and, build upon it multiple implementations, perhaps even allowing different coordinated groups to tackle this!

Thanks for reading the long email, F.

[2] The Deep Space Network Scheduling Problem

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Glenn Powers wrote 8 months ago point
Since "Connectivity is a key aspect of our project," have you considered using BitTorrent Sync to share the data collected by the network? I'm using it to distribute my DokuWiki:

BitTorrent Sync and DokuWiki work well together, since DokuWiki uses plain text files and media files.

BitTorrent Sync is also excellent for synchronizing sites with intermittent network access.

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Dan Royer wrote 9 months ago point
I've been designing 3d printable slew bearings. Would they help?
I use them in my project:

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Manthos Papamathaiou wrote 8 months ago point
Very interesting piece of hardware Dan. We will definitely think about to use them. Nice robot arm to!

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Fotis Georgatos wrote 8 months ago point
Geia hara Dan, (=hello)

I'm an engineer of the non-mechanical flavor, yet I'm inclined to infer that using such bearings would allow to increase the load envelope that the design can sustain, without pumping the costs too high. If so, that's very interesting. In fact, it might permit to add on SatNOGS heavier loads such as cameras, parabolic antennas and... well, maybe just maybe, small scale telescopes (to be sure: weight-balanced).

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Fotis Georgatos wrote 8 months ago point
and an extra crazy thought: a mechanical robot arm such as yours, placed near the cargo area, could even service some of the equipment (switch receivers & lenses, monitor devices with a webcam, provide load support under heavy weather etc).

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Gary wrote 9 months ago point
would like to see more. Really interested in how well those 3d gear will work with that larger array.

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Manthos Papamathaiou wrote 8 months ago 1 point
we will come up with more photos and videos very soon Gary. We are making some changes to the design to make it more compact and more easy to maintain. I think that the v0.2 will be ready very soon.

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hpux735 wrote 10 months ago point
What are you using for the mechanics of the Az/El mount? Are those custom-machined or off-the-shelf?

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Manthos Papamathaiou wrote 10 months ago point
Hello! We are actually using only 3D printed parts and some nuts and bolts.

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Adam Fabio wrote 10 months ago 1 point
Pierros, SatNOGS looks great! Thanks for sending it in to The Hackaday Prize. Can you upload a few more pictures of the prototype? Cad drawings are great, but nothing beats seeing those stepper worm drives in real life. I'd like to see more on the connected protocols as well - Can we use SatNOGS to create an open source Deep Space Network similar to the one NASA has?

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Pierros Papadeas wrote 10 months ago point
Connectivity is a key aspect of our project. Indeed the concept is to create a global distributed network for satellite tracking and communications (similar to DSN, but for LEO MEO orbits :) )

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Fotis Georgatos wrote 8 months ago point
> Can we use SatNOGS to create an open source Deep Space Network similar to the one NASA has?

Totally, YES!

I am able to tell so, since I saw the prototype in action couple of days ago, and it simply does what you would like it to do. The design is quite open and extendible. An area of possible improvements is to use more expensive materials as a matter of hardening it (eg. for harsh weather) yet its design is sound and, reusable to the max!

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Fotis Georgatos wrote 8 months ago point
if you are on Apple or Wintel devices, check out this game (set aside 20mins): # read objectives!
It will take you to the i-am-looking-forward-to-DSN mode quickly ;-)
Very useful and edutaining time-killer for long hours in airport/airplanes.
IMHO, it should be declared the official game of SatNOGs followers!

keep dreaming of possibilties, you never know what may happen with newer ideas!

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