Cube-Sat’s are small satellites people from around the world put experiments into before launching them into space. These “Cube-Sats” transmit tracking beacons to allow ground stations to find the satellite's orbit around the earth. By capturing most signals from the open sky we can automate a system to create a global network of connected ground stations which will post a time stamp on twitter every time a satellite or station goes over a station and collect the data from those transmissions.

This project is solving the Space Station Telemetry App challenge.


A non-tracking Quadrifilar Helix Antenna (QHA) developed to facilitate a low-cost and an easier mode of capturing small satellite information in a circular polarized manner. This state-of-the-art hardware captures data from amateur radio “cube” and “pico” satellites in both the data packet form and the audible recordings. Combined with the robust and powerful signal processing software, this setup is able to receive multiple simultaneous signals from various satellites. The software scans for signals in the given frequency range (435-438mhz). Divided into two parts, tracking beacons and data signals. The initial stage of the project is to recognize tracking beacons within the designated Mhz range and identify the satellite via its tracking beacon or downlink frequency and publish the information realtime on twitter with a timestamp. The Secondary phase focuses on a demodulation program for multiple satellites overpassing one ground station. The demodulation process focuses over an area of the signal with special digital radios, most likely using three to four radios per ground station to receive packets over a certain frequency range within the 435-438 Mhz range. During the demodulation and receiving process should the first receiver undergo packet retrieval, the secondary and tertiary signal receivers remain busy scanning the designated frequency range in search of alternative incoming satellite transmissions. Post receiving the data packets and/or audible information signal, the receiver breaks off from demodulation and logs the received transmission in a database for signal identification and information storage based on it’s specific frequency. This ground station can easily be duplicated by being placed in multiple locations outside the existing circular polarization area of the other ground stations. In addition, a system of interlocking ground stations can be designed to cover as much spatial territory as possible. Any demodulated signals received from a secondary or tertiary station is digitally uploaded to a cloud based server where it is identified and classified via it’s location and time it’s signal was received. Which would assist in locating the actual orbit of the satellite due to the possible effects of space weather. Overall, this categorization allows for a consumer friendly website ( that would allow users access to all stored data from the compiled information logs on the cloud server. The program allows users to query the website based on: AX.25 protocol designation, time, date, location and frequency of received transmission.

Project Information

License: Academic Free License 3.0 (AFL-3.0)

Source Code/Project URL:



  • Aleks Bologna