Author: Eleftherios Kosmas

Libre Space Foundation partners with Harvard’s Wolbach Library to launch Space Library funded by Sloan Foundation

The Wolbach Library at the Center for Astrophysics and the Libre Space Foundation recently received funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to create new infrastructure to support small satellite missions and enable public engagement with space technology.

These efforts are part of the “Space Library,” a new multicomponent initiative at Wolbach that is working to fuel new research by improving access to scientific research artifacts and supporting their reuse. The funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will support two specific Space Library projects: MetaSat and the Library Space Technology Network (LSTN).

The Space Library’s first project, MetaSat, will develop and prototype an open metadata schema. This schema will provide both a comprehensive structure and uniform standards for describing research objects produced by small satellite missions so they can be more easily found and used by others. Example schema components include standard ways to document dates, locations, people, datasets, and software.

This schema will subsequently be piloted on SatNOGS, the Libre Space Foundation’s open source network of satellite ground stations (on-ground technology that communicates with satellites). Wolbach Library also plans to install five ground stations at public libraries around the world. These five libraries will be the first participants in LSTN, a public-facing program that will provide opportunities for new communities to engage with and support real space missions. LSTN participants will give feedback on the MetaSat schema and the newly installed ground stations to ensure that even satellite novices are able to use these tools. If the pilot is successful, Wolbach hopes to expand LSTN and develop educational materials to support participating communities.

“I’m elated about this opportunity. We have a unique chance here to partner with people developing bleeding edge technologies while addressing questions that I think are foundationally important to the future of scientific research,” said Daina Bouquin, Head Librarian and PI of the Space Library. “Questions like, how do we link hardware, software, and data so people can fully share their knowledge and experience? Can we develop tools for scientists that are approachable to the public? These questions aren’t specific to space-based science, and I think librarians are strategically situated to help, so I’m thrilled to move forward.”

Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian 
The Center for Astrophysics is a research institute which carries out a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, earth and space sciences, and science education. The CfA’s mission is to advance our knowledge and understanding of the universe through research and education in astronomy and astrophysics. The CfA was founded in 1973 as a joint venture between the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University. The CfA’s main facility is located in Cambridge Massachusetts, with several other facilities around the globe.

John G. Wolbach Library
The John G. Wolbach Library combines the collections of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), forming one of the world’s preeminent astronomical collections.

Libre Space Foundation

Libre Space is a non-profit organization and its mission is to promote, advance, and develop libre (free and open source) technologies and knowledge for space exploration. To do so the Libre Space Foundation designs, develops, and delivers space related projects ranging from ground station equipment to global monitoring networks and satellite missions. The Libre Space Foundation is based in Athens, Greece, collaborating with organizations and individuals globally.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 
Founded in 1934 by industrialist Alfred P. Sloan Jr., the Foundation is a not-for-profit grantmaking institution that supports high quality, impartial scientific research; fosters a robust, diverse scientific workforce; strengthens public understanding and engagement with science; and promotes the health of the institutions of scientific endeavor.

In order to facilitate this open metadata project the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has provided Wolbach Library at the Center for Astrophysics and the Libre Space Foundation a grant of USD $390,634.00 with Daina Bouquin serving as project PI.

Libre Space Foundation selected as a mentor organization for Google Summer of Code

We are excited to share the news that Libre Space Foundation is selected as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code (aka GSoC) 2019! As a result of this selection Libre Space has summer opportunities for university students who are interested in working on open-source space technologies.

Google Summer of Code is an annual program providing university students the chance to work on open -source projects during their summer break while earning a stipend!

So now, when all the papers were done with essay helper, which you can find atHome Page to complete all your study tasks, you can go on with the summer plans!

If you are interested on working with open-source space technologies this summer don’t hesitate to thoroughly study the student guide, and check our detailed instructions, with suggested ideas, or introduce your own ideas for consideration.

Open Source Cubesat Workshop ’17

A few days ago Libre Space Foundation, the Librecube Initiative and European Space Agency’s European Space Operation Center Cybernetics Team came together and co-organized Open Source Cubesat Workshop ’17 (or OSCW17 for short) at the European Space Operations Center Headquarters in Germany.

For two days, the European Space Operation Center opened its doors to our community building open-source space technologies. We had the chance to watch, participate and get inspired by talks, pitches, and workshops that took place during OSCW.

We want to thank our hosts, the awesome people of ESOC, its director that keynoted the event, the Cybernetics team, and numerous ESA volunteers that took time off their schedules to join us.  would also like to thank the OSCW17 sponsors that placed their trust on open-source. And most importantly we must thank the awesome international community of researchers, industry representatives and individuals that joined us working together and collaborating on open-source space technologies.

The ESOC media team made all video recordings available to share. We aren’t going single out a few talks, pitches or workshops, Feel free watch all the talks (abstracts and slides linked in the video descriptions) in the following YouTube playlist, and don’t hesitate to join our continuous work on open-source space technologies in our community discussion forum and chat room.

Successful deployment of UPSat, the first open source satellite

UPSat, the first open source hardware and software satellite, was released in orbit by NanoRacks deployer from the International Space Station at 08:24 UTC 2017-05-18. After 30 minutes, UPSat subsystems commenced normal operations in orbit. The SatNOGS open ground station network started receiving telemetry signals from UPSat in several ground-stations deployed globally shortly after its deployment. All subsystems are reporting nominal operations and the UPSat team is proceeding​ with LEOP phase in preparation for the science phase of the mission.

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The moment of UPSat deployment, as seen from the International Space Station. UPSat can be seen on the left picture as the black cube near the center of the picture.
The moment of UPSat deployment, as seen from the International Space Station. UPSat can be seen on the left picture as the black cube near the center of the picture.

This successful deployment of UPSat in orbit, marks an important milestone for open source software and hardware in space, making space technologies more accessible and open for all.

UPSat CW telemetry beacon as captured by JA0CAW (Japan)
UPSat CW telemetry beacon as captured by JA0CAW (Japan)

More info about UPSat and its current status can be found in https://upsat.gr and on latest observations by SatNOGS Network https://network.satnogs.org

Libre Space Foundation has a new home – libre.space

A few days ago Libre Space Foundation got access to the “libre.space” domain due to a generous contribution of the original owner of the domain and member of the SatNOGS community Matt Carberry.

We are looking forward to use this domain not only for Libre Space Foundation initiatives, such us SatNOGS and UPSat, but want to also provide a platform to share knowledge, discuss and co-operate on any open source hardware & software related to space.

For those reasons, we decided on expanding the SatNOGS community forum based originally at community.satnogs.org to community.libre.space. As an early example, Gpredict community (headed by A.Csete) has started utilizing our forum for their coordination needs and aims on utilizing the transmitter data provided by the SatNOGS DB

We aim for more open source collaboration in space in the future, don’t hesitate to join us.

The first open source hardware satellite is delivered

The UPSat team of engineers is proud to announce the delivery of the first completely open source software and hardware satellite!

A major step towards UPSat’s launch has being completed. Its successful delivery to Innovative Solutions In Space (ISISpace) took place on August 18th in Delft, Netherlands. UPSat is the first complete delivery to ISISpace as part of the QB50 project. Engineers from the University of Patras and Libre Space Foundation, the makers of UPSat, in cooperation with Von Karman Institute and ISISpace engineers have successfully concluded all checkout tests anddelivery procedures, to enable UPSat’s integration to the NanoRacks launch system.

UPSat will be delivered to Orbital ATK, and then launched to the International Space Station via a Cygnus automated cargo spacecraft scheduled for 30th of December 2016. After successful docking to ISS, UPSat will be launch by the NanoRacks deployment pod aboard ISS.

This delivery marks a major milestone towards the realization of Libre Space Foundation vision foran open source ecosystem in space, while also being the first satellite designed and manufactured in Greece.

SatNOGS core team creates Libre Space Foundation after winning the Hackaday Prize

One month ago in Berlin Hackaday announced SatNOGS as the Grand prize winner of the Hackaday Prize 2014.

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We are excited to see SatNOGS, the open source hardware and free software satellite ground station network, winning the recognition of the Hackaday Prize judges, the Hackaday staff and last but not least it’s awesome community. We believe that the Hackaday Prize contest is a great showcase of open source hardware and software projects.

The core development team of SatNOGS decided to use the monetary prize won in the Hackaday Prize to fund the establishement of the. Libre Space Foundation, in order to support, develop and advance open source technologies in space. Our vision is not only create an open source groundstation network but an ecosystem of open source technologies in both software and hardware in space and cooperate with other opensource communities to make it so.

Groundstations are just the beginning.