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Piszkéstető UHF

The Piszkéstető UHF station is a SatNOGS-capable satellite receiver station, suitable for receptions in the passband between 435 and 438 MHz. The station is based on the following components:

  • SPID RAS rotator with off-the-shelf controller;
  • 2x2 stacked WIMO X-Quad 70 cm UHF antennas (including the appropriate phase line);
  • Aluminium tubes (40x2, 60x2);
  • Cross mast clamps (for the H-shaped antenna support structure, for the counterweight) and distance mast clamps (for connecting the 60mm support tube to the bar);
  • Wilkinson power combiner;
  • An SSB SP-70 preamplifier (low-noise amplifier, LNA);
  • N-N bias tee;
  • N-N cables (H155, 4x 1m, exactly the same length to connect the antennas to the Wilkinson power combiner, 3m, to connect the power combiner with the LNA);
  • An appropriately long N-N cable (H155, between the LNA and the bias tee);
  • A shorter N-SMA cable (betweem the bias tee and the dongle);
  • RTL-SDR dongle (v3);
  • Lots of ferrite beads;
  • PC Engines APU2 with Devuan single-board computer; and
  • software stack extensions atop satnogs-client, enabling custom pre/postprocessing scripts and additional real-time packet decoding hooks.

Our infrastructure for this station infrastructure is supported by the same grants which funded the GRBAlpha mission, an 1U CubeSat for in-orbit performance tests of detectors suitable for small form-factor gamma-ray burst detections. The station also regularly receives the SMOG-1 PocketQube as well as VZLUSAT-2. The aim of the custom extensions atop the satnogs-client is to allow the real-time decoding of GRBAlpha packets and transfer the packets to the interactive ground control software with a minimal (≲ 10-20ms) latency while keeping a 100% compatible interfacing to the SatNOGS system at the same time. Additional extensions allows the proper unwinding of the antenna and rotator cabling in advance of the passes.