Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

A event log for SatNOGS Update Hack Chat

Do you know where your satellite is?

Dan MaloneyDan Maloney 10/30/2019 at 20:030 Comments

fredy12:44 PM
@RichardCollins Indeed that would be very useful, however there are bandwidth constraints currently. However we have iqzip project that there are thoughts to use it in the future.

Daniel joined  the room.12:44 PM

Taiwo12:45 PM
@Pierros Papadeas What does it take to have one of those gracious dots on my location?

Pierros Papadeas12:45 PM
This is a graph or observations per time, over the last 5 years (almost since we won the Hackaday Prize)

Pierros Papadeas12:45 PM

morgan12:45 PM
that's great

Pierros Papadeas12:46 PM
@Taiwo :) also join us on and feel free to ask any questions on how to get started

RichardCollins12:46 PM
@fredy @Pierros Papadeas I am tracking the established VLBI and radio astronomy networks, the GPS networks for geophysics and meteorolgy. The power system low frequency networks, electromagnetic interference groups, infrasound and earthquake early warning, magnetometer networks, gravimeter networks. And many more. They ALL have to subtract electromagnetic, electic field and magnetic field variations.

Pierros Papadeas12:46 PM
@Taiwo generally speaking the simplest station would be an RPi4 with an rtl-sdr and a turnstile antenna

Corey Shields12:47 PM
^^ and build up from there, add improvements over time

newen12:48 PM
any project at Argentina?

Pierros Papadeas12:49 PM
@newen we need more stations in Latin America ;)

Corey Shields12:50 PM
we have just a couple of ground stations there.. you can see them clicking on "map" at

newen12:50 PM
we are at center or AR

RichardCollins12:50 PM
Having the data in human readable format is crucial. Proprietary binary formats, undocumented formats and undocumented processing steps, and proprietary software and development environments are a NO NO. All these networks can work together.

Corey Shields12:50 PM
we will be launching a request for translation help in localizing our projects, which should help in places like that

Corey Shields12:51 PM
@RichardCollins absolutely!

Pierros Papadeas12:51 PM
@RichardCollins couldn't agree more on the necessity of documentation and openness.

For that reason we published our Libre Space Manifesto

Pierros Papadeas12:51 PM



Building a ground station need not be complicated. There are a few things to consider when working out what it is you are going to do. Choices such as the desire to have a fixed or steerable ground station will play a big part in the amount of equipment needed and the time taken as well as the complexity of any build.

Read this on Satnogs

Pierros Papadeas12:51 PM


Libre Space Manifesto

Space is humanity's future. It is humanity's opportunity to explore, develop, use, and thrive differently. A way to ensure the longevity, sustainability, openness, equality of those efforts for all humanity. For this, we pledge to adhere to the following: All people shall have the right to explore and use outer space for the benefit and in the interests of all humanity.

Read this on Libre

morgan12:52 PM

RichardCollins12:52 PM

fredy12:54 PM
Here is a recent coverage from an ISS SSTV event more details about the event can be found at

RichardCollins12:54 PM
This is a current map of the seismometer network. They are very good at sharing data and handling things professionally. Stations include magnetotelluric and similar stations. They have standards for documentation, storage, sharing.

Pierros Papadeas12:54 PM

Ethan Waldo12:55 PM
Any thoughts on building a GRID so people can contribute processing resources for distributed data processing and analysis?

G Mallery12:55 PM
So, the "data" tab (in observations) needs ascii/hex AND ax.25 to be human readable for amateur radio sats.

RichardCollins12:55 PM
I think you can do that direction. With an emphasis on even handedness across all countries. There is a gap in the global coverage of electromagnetic stations.

Corey Shields12:56 PM
@Ethan Waldo so far the computation hasn't needed it.. (most of the signals are ~9600 baud, easily handled by a rpi3 + rtlsdr).. But, may become a need for someone who wants to calculate against the telemetry sets

RichardCollins12:56 PM
@G Mallery !!!! absolutely. And complete traceability. Who did it, where it came from, what changes and corrections or filters applied, user communities, development groups, etc.

Corey Shields12:57 PM
@G Mallery yeah.. We've got plans to do that straight to telemetry data using the same kaitai decoders we write to get to dashboards

fredy12:57 PM
@G Mallery there is an ascii/hex button, and there is an ongoing work on ax.25. However if you want to check readable data you can check the dashboard at

fredy12:57 PM
for example this is the dashboard of lightsail-2 mission from planetary society

Corey Shields12:57 PM
@RichardCollins the metasat project pierros linked to earlier was formed to fill in those gaps

G Mallery12:58 PM
I would not have been able to help with lightsail-2 if not for SatNOGS. Thank you

Corey Shields12:58 PM
there's traceability today, the data is all openly accessible, etc. etc. we just haven't had the resources to automate what that might look like for a user yet

RichardCollins12:59 PM
@Corey Shields I guess they are just getting started and have not posted there, or they are doing their talking elsewhere. Will keep them in mind.

Corey Shields12:59 PM
it is very new, yes

Here we are at the one-hour mark, which is the time we usually allot in case our hosts have to get back to work. But as usual, the chat is going strong, so if you can stay on, feel free to keep going. I'll just say a hearty thanks to all the SatNOGgers for giving up time today to give us an update, and thanks to everyone for great questions and a lively discussion. I'll be posting a transcript soon in case anyone wants to refer back.

RichardCollins1:00 PM

fredy1:00 PM
@G Mallery :) Also interesting was the story of TBEx-A and TBEx-B that we manage to identify them and contribute to their mission by gathering data.

Corey Shields1:00 PM
(so new that my own involvement only dates ~2 weeks) so yeah, definite lack of docs from that front right now

Next week's Hack Chat will be Mohit Bhoite on his wonderful circuit sculptures: