Exercise 2: Commission the ground station

A ground station (GS-SBIC-1M2) has been newly installed at an off-site location. Before starting operations and receiving satellite imagery from Polar-orbiting satellites, it’s crucial to commission the ground station properly.

To start this process, it has been decided to start the commissioning phase using beacon signals from multiple Geostationary satellites, as they are in a fixed point in the sky and always available.

Using the provided datasheets and following the guidelines below, your task is to conduct the commissioning of the ground station with a Geostationary satellite of your choice. Your primary objectives are as follows:

  1. Plan a satellite link
  2. Capture a signal from a Polar Orbiting satellite

1. Select a target satellite:

  • Objective: Target a geostationary satellite in view of the ground station.
  • Hints: See suggested satellites in datasheets section.

2. Determine Azimuth/Elevation (Azi/Ele) values:

  • Objective: Find the target satellite position in the sky (Azi/Ele) relative to the ground station.
  • Tools: Use the Dashboard for accurate estimates.

3. Schedule the satellite pass:

  • Objective: Plan the motion of the ground station’s dish by defining waypoints. 
  • Tools: See the ground station datasheet describing rotor performance and book via Dashboard.
  • Considerations: Ensure to stay within ground station performance limitations for rotor speed and maximum recording duration (4 mins) when defining waypoint times.
  • Hints:
    • Point dish to Zenith to sample noise floor for SNR estimate(optional)
    • Move to target Azi/Ele position
    • Hold at the target Azi/Ele position to record the signal
    • Perform an azimuth sweep across the target 

4. Post-processing:

  • Objective: Estimate misalignment using the signal recording.
  • Tools: Install and use SDR# to view baseband recording.
  • Considerations: The Antenna dish rotors and Software Defined Radio (SDR) both start at the same time (Waypoint 1). Use both the Pass-request-rotor.txt file and the Passrequest.bin file to estimate the dish orientation while receiving the signal at a given time

Watch the videos in the left sidebar and make sure to check out the FAQ and resources sections.

Example results