SatNOGS: Towards a Modern, Crowd Sourced and Open Network of Ground Stations
Over the last years the launching cost of a payload in space has been significantly reduced and this trend is expected to continue, as the interest for space applications is increasing. The reduced launch cost and the advancements in technology, gave the opportunity to small satellites to revolutionize access to space. The majority of the small satellites missions are targeting the Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Due to the nature of this particular orbit, communication with a satellite is possible only for a few minutes per day for a given location. This raises the need for multiple ground stations in several geographic locations. Although such an infrastructure is possible, most of the times it is both complicated and expensive for research or educational entities to obtain. Given the fact that each ground station exhibits a small per day utilization for a specific satellite, the idle time can be used for reception of other missions. SatNOGS is an open source software and open hardware project that addresses this problem by interconnecting all participating ground stations, offering their idle time to other users of the SatNOGSnetwork.
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