Decoding Telemetry from Satellites (Competition)

Many Amateur Radio satellites contains various experiments, payloads from universities and individuals. An exciting part of the hobby is to “hunt” these satellites and receive and decode the Telemetry. Telemetry typically contains status information about the satellite as well as experiment data. Amateur Radio enthusiasts have always been involved helping to track these satellites, especially since most individuals or clubs launching these satellites don’t have ground stations around the world.

Projects such as SatNOGS and TinyGS try to address this issue by developing simple to build ground stations that you can add to your shack. A lot of amateurs also track, receive and decode telemetry and send it to a central database which makes the data available for all to view and use.

Getting started with telemetry decoding can be overwhelming for the newcomer. Because of this we have started a new series on the Satellite Manual on how to receive and decode this telemetry. Satellite Telemetry Tracking/Decoding Part 1 is all about the hardware/software and how to configure it for receiving telemetry.

To encourage all our local hams in South Africa to start receiving and decoding telemetry we are holding a competition. To enter the competition all you need to do is receive and decode telemetry from any amateur radio satellite in orbit. For each “data collection” you need to submit the following information:

  1. Information on your receiving station (sdr/radio/antenna/location)
  2. Information on the satellite you tracked (name/date/time/frequency)
  3. Screenshot or KISS file of your decoded data
  4. Screenshot of the waterfall showing the received signal
  5. Tell us your telemetry hunting adventure ๐Ÿ™‚

You may send your entries to tvdbon at gmail dot com. All entries received will receive a HamsatSA Satellite Hunter Award and the person with the most unique entries will win a radio related prize worth R1000. The competition runs from 2022/04/16 to 2022/05/13 and the winners will be announced on the 18th of May. This competition is only open to South Africa Amateurs.


  • You need to have a valid South Africa amateur license (or registered as a RAE candidate)
  • Competition runs from 2022/04/16 (16 April) to 2022/05/13 (13 May)
  • Entry is only valid for a satellite pass between the competition dates (ie. no old data)
  • The judgesโ€™ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • Only South African residents are eligible for prizes, delivery of prizes will only be within South Africa
  • In the case of a competition by means of a draw, the draw will take place within 3 days of the closing date of the competition

Go collect that telemetry and improve your satellite ground station at the same time ๐Ÿ™‚

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