SDR Satcom is a project led by the European Space Agency (ESA) in partnership with Lime Microsystems, that aims to accelerate satellite communication development and lower the barriers to innovation. It is hosted as a project under the MyriadRF open source initiative and uses the low cost LimeSDR software-defined radio, together with an app store for distributing applications.
The SDR Satcom app store is used to distribute Linux applications that are packaged using the snap package format. Support for this is pre-installed on Ubuntu and most derivative distributions, with installation instructions available for many other distributions. Benefits include that dependencies are packaged together with the application code and this runs in a confined environment, with clearly defined system and application interfaces, plus fine control over updates and release management.
In short, snaps take the hassle out of distributing complex application stacks. In addition it is the native package format for Ubuntu Core, the secure, lightweight and robust operating systems for the Internet of Things. Which means snaps can equally be run on classic Ubuntu desktops during development and prototyping, or on Ubuntu Core as part of a managed deployment.
The app store presently includes a number of snaps from early contributors:
- Gpredict, a real-time satellite tracking and orbit prediction program for the Linux desktop. It uses the SGP4/SDP4 propagation algorithms together with NORAD two-line element sets (TLE).
- SatHelperApp, an LRIT/HRIT Demodulator / Decoder program based on libSatHelper and xritdemod.
- SDRangel, an Qt5 / OpenGL 3.0+ SDR and signal analyzer frontend. It has support for various modes, including DVB, and transmit operation.
- WeatherDump, a multi-platform software for record, demodulate, decode and processing of data from weather satellites.
For further details, please see the wiki.
It takes just a few simple steps to configure your Linux distribution to use the SDR Satcom app store and for details see the wiki.
Submitting a snap
Proposals for including a snap in the SDR Satcom store are invited!
While the main focus is software-defined radio applications for use with LimeSDR hardware, we also welcome proposals to include other open source software that may be used in support of satellite communications, such as offline decoders and tracking applications etc.
Snap packaging is pretty straightforward and since it includes all your application dependencies, it means that you don’t have to worry about packaging for different Linux distributions and distribution releases.
To propose a snap for inclusion in the SDR Satcom app store or to simply find out more, either post to the MyriadRF forum or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
The European Space Agency were backers of the LimeSDR Mini crowdfunding campaign and in addition to using the hardware in their labs, they’re making it available to qualifying individual developers, open source projects and academic institutions. An initial batch of kits has been distributed to projects including SatNOGS, Phase IV Ground, Open Satellite Project, and Portsdown.
An additional 50x LimeSDR Mini kits are now being made available and to make a request, please complete the form.
General enquiries should be sent to Andrew Back.