We have some big news we could not wait to share with you all!

TEONITE has partnered up with Libre Space Foundation for SDR Makerspace project, funded by European Space Agency (ESA), and we couldn’t be more excited about such cooperation!

“SDR Makerspace is an initiative of the European Space Agency and Libre Space Foundation bringing together makers, open-source hackers, radio amateurs, researchers, from all over Greece and provide funding, resources, and a passionate community tackling together challenges in using Software Defined Radio for space communications, opening up space communications development to a wide variety of people, organizations and companies.”

Nowadays mobile phones are equipped with truly powerful processors which allow for signal processing in combination with Software-defined radio (SDR). And so far, surprisingly, nobody has used them to decode satellite signals.

Having the above in mind, the goal of the cooperation between SDR Makerspace and TEONITE is to implement a proof-of-concept mobile phone based system capable of receiving, decoding and displaying satellite data on a mobile device. And it gets better - the solution will be fully Open Source!

SDR-mobile

We have decided to work with a NOAA satellite network (weather satellites) due to the satellites’ signal strength and well-known encoding standards. Additionally we have chosen Android as target mobile platform because of its popularity, open-source nature and number of available software libraries. Currently there are 3 active NOAA satellites travelling on the sun-synchronous orbit, at 850 kilometers of altitude. There are 19 satellites altogether, but currently 3 of them are active. If you’d like to find out more, check out information about National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS).

NOAA satellites send satellite pictures on radio frequencies ranging between 137-138 MHz. Those pictures can be received using amateur radio equipment. This sound saved in a wave format can be transformed into a satellite picture using dedicated software.

Below you can see examples of how a received signal looks like:

gqrx-example noaa-example

And here’s the end result, decoded satellite pictures:

satelite-result satelite-result

Imagine (or in a few weeks you won’t have to imagine when the project will be finished) that only using your mobile phone and a little bit of additional equipment, you will be able to download, decode and display data from a NOAA satellite as a picture, just like it was shown above.

Here are the things you are going to need:

  • VHF antenna
  • SDR (currently HackRF is supported, we are working on USRP, and in the future - RTL-SDR)
  • Filter (optional)
  • Powerbank (optional)

SDR-mobile-diagram

If you are interested in space and satellites, this can be your window to the cosmos!

Sounds fascinating, right? Soon you will be able to gain this unique perspective on Earth, thanks to our partnership with SDR Makerspace.

Welcome to the future!

It’s amazing as those types of solutions were never available for ordinary people and yet soon pretty much anyone with an Android based mobile phone will be able to take a peek on earth from space!

Stay tuned for the next update about the project results.

For now, you can follow our progress on GitLab:

If you’d like to know more about the project, reach out and let us know hi@teonite.com