Tag: satnogs

…And we are back in Space!

On the 1st of October 2022 and at 07:01 UTC, Libre Space Foundation’s QUBIK mission made it to space! Launched onboard Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha Flight 2, #ToTheBlack.

With this mission, Libre Space Foundation (LSF) returned to Space!

..and this is the story of the QUBIK mission. Picking up the thread of the narration from the very beginning, from assembling the satellites to them making it to space successfully.

This is the timeline of the events that narrate:

the transformation of arranged pieces

into flying PocketQubes


the assembling of scattered metal parts

into a ride in space

This is the story of how we went from scraps and pieces to space. ( in less than a year)

The QUBIK Mission: A Timeline 

  • In early October 2021, the LSF teams embarked on building the new set of QUBIK satellites, part of the QUBIK series of PocketQubes created by the Organisation. On October 13th, the solar panel boards for the new QUBIK satellites were under assembly. The teams were working at hackerspace.gr, at the LSF lab, in downtown Athens, Greece.

  • 19 October 2021: Production was ramping up, and the freshly-baked COMMS subsystems were ready to be used for the mission.

In November 2021, a number of streaming sessions were hosted on the LSF YouTube channel, broadcasting live the final steps of the satellites’ assembling process.

  • 10 November 2021, The Final Assembly of the QUBIK PocketQubes was streaming live:
  • 11 November 2021 was the time of the bake-out process:

As the year was drawing to an end, so did the process of finalising the building of the QUBIK Mission.

  • 20 December 2021: PICOBUS Reloaded, satellites’ integration.
    In late December, the integration of the satellites into the PICOBUS deployer was also streamed live from the LSF channel on YouTube. During the 3-hour live integration, five satellites were integrated into the PICOBUS deployer. The satellites were AMSAT-EA’s satellites GENESIS-G and GENESIS-J, FOSSA Systems’ FOSSASAT-1B and LSF’s QUBIK-3 and QUBIK-4.
PICOBUS PocketQube deployer

  • At the end of 2021, the PICOBUS was ready to be shipped to the US in a similar container.

With the shipping of the container to the US, the process of building the QUBIK mission was completed successfully. In the months leading to the launch, the teams were working on things regarding the mission. From collaborating with the Firefly team to optimising the reception and transmission of the satellite signals to vamping up the SatNOGS network of satellite ground stations.

To The Black

And so we fast forward to September 2022. The #ToTheBlack mission of Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha Flight 2 was originally scheduled to fly to space on September 11 2022. After being scrubbed twice in that month, the team at Firefly secured a new date for the beginning of October. And October it was!

  • On October 1st 2022, at 12:01 AM PDT-07:01 UTC, Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha Flight 2 experienced a nominal countdown and lift-off. Libre Space Foundation’s QUBIK mission was onboard.

The launch was streamed live from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA, and hosted on YouTube by Tim Dodd and the Everyday Astronaut.

Making it to space: Deployment and operations

The satellites integrated inside PICOBUS were set to be deployed at T+01:01:57. Shortly after, QUBIK-3 and QUBIK-4 were making their way through space. Just 30 seconds after the antenna deployment

QUBIK antenna deployment at the lab

, the QUBIK PocketQubes began transmitting their signal that was received using the SatNOGS network. The first signals were received by station “2623 – vk2pet ” in Western Australia.

Waterfall of the first QUBIK signal received

A few minutes later, more signals were received from the SatNOGS network, and these are the waterfalls illustrating the first decoded data of the received signals.

These decoded data came from two different stations. QUBIK-3 was received by station 2550 – USU GAS, the ground station of the Utah State University, and QUBIK-4 by station 2461 – N1ESK-Loudon.

As the data kept rolling in, the dashboard was created. It illustrated the data received by the network.

The two satellites were making their way through space for two days, and their re-entry marked the end of the mission. You can find more details about it here.

The scope of the mission

Comprised of a set of PocketQubes and a PocketQube deployer, the QUBIK mission was built using open-source hardware and software. This constitutes PICOBUS, the first-ever open-source PocketQube deployer. The two PocketQubes, QUBIK-3 and QUBIK-4 were to be short-lived and were tasked to perform a series of experiments to explore further the possibilities of satellite identification and tracking. This would be possible by using amateur radio frequencies and extensively testing a number of hypotheses. A list of the amateur-radio experiments and an extended description of the scope of the mission can be found here. The findings of these experiments were also to be used to enhance the knowledge and contribute towards the development of SIDLOC. This is another project under active development that LSF has been working on, and its goal is to explore the creation of a proposed standard for the Identification and Localization of satellites and spacecraft alike.

The Libre Space Manifesto

…outer space accessible to everyone

With every LSF’s QUBIK satellite that has flown to space, the Libre Space Manifesto has travelled with it. The Libre Space Manifesto is a set of Principles about Space that inspires and guides all LSF operations.

You can read the full version of the Manifesto here or find its Principles etched on the ballasts of the QUBIK series of satellites.

Similarly-etched ballasts travelled to space inside QUBIK-3 and QUBIK-4.

Want to join a special Treasure Hunt in space?

Back in October 2021, when we were assembling the QUBIK PocketQubes, there were about 8 Bytes of FREE space left in our telemetry beacon. And what did we do? We decided to orchestrate a Treasure Hunt with our satellites. Inside their telemetry, we have placed a clue for you to find and join the hunt in space.
If you find the clue hidden in the QUBIK mission, get in touch with us!

And do stay tuned for our next missions to locate the clues missing from the space hunt puzzle!


For us at Libre Space Foundation, the QUBIK mission was our return to space. And though short-lived, it still signifies a huge milestone for us to take great pride in. We made it to space for the second time, and we could not have done this without the opportunity offered to us by Firefly Aerospace, for which we are deeply grateful. We are also grateful to the entire LSF and SatNOGS community, paid and non-paid members and contributors who have toiled with us and dedicated their valuable time, expertise and effort to the mission.
Thank you, everyone, for working hard with devotion to help make …outer space accessible to everyone!


Image by Firefly Aerospace.

Google Summer of Code 2021: Announcing the three projects that will participate in the program with Libre Space Foundation

For the third year in a row, Libre Space Foundation is selected as a mentoring organisation for the Google Summer of Code program. The application period has now closed and the results are in!
The three projects that will be participating in this iteration of the Google Summer of Code via Libre Space Foundation are the following. Let us check them out:

Expanding events detection in Poliastro

Poliastro is an open-source, python library for interactive astrodynamics and orbital mechanics. This project will work on expanding the event-detection capabilities of Poliastro. It plans on achieving that by adding several event-detection algorithms and methods to it. These detectors will allow Poliastro to calculate eclipses, collisions, line-of-sight, sunlight exposure, altitude thresholds, longitude/latitude crossing, visibility of orbiting objects from a location on earth, and sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset times also from a location on earth.

Rich analysis reports for Polaris

Polaris is an open-source tool that applies machine learning to satellite telemetry. This year’s project will create a visual module for Polaris. This will use the results of its anomaly detector to generate web-based interactive graphs, visualising anomalies and their points of occurrence. At the same time, it will allow pdf generation and command-line tools for these.

Improving the transmission capabilities of gr-satnogs

Gr-satnogs is the GNU-Radio, Out-of-tree module used by the SatNOGS open-source satellite ground-station network. The scope of this project is to expand the current transmission capabilities of gr-satnogs. This has already been tested on UPSat while in orbit and on Qubik 1 and Qubik-2 in the lab. To achieve that the project aims to improve the gr-satnogs transmission framing API and add new encoders to the already existing AX.25 and IEEE 802.15.4 such as the Nanocom AX.100, various AMSAT-related encoders and more.

Google Summer of Code is an annual program offering university students the opportunity to work on open-source projects during their summer break while earning a stipend! Libre Space Foundation is devoted to working on open-source space technologies and you can find out more about our Principles regarding open-source and space in our Manifesto.

This year’s Google Summer of Code application received 6991 applications submitted by 4975 students from 103 countries. These applications were reviewed by 199 mentoring organizations. Eventually, 1292 students from 69 countries were selected.

We are thrilled to be part of this grand initiative. But we are also excited and looking forward to working with our students over the next few months. Congratulations to everyone and welcome aboard!

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.

FOSDEM 2019 Report

The Libre Space Foundations team and contributors attended a snowy FOSDEM to promote Libre Space and to work together on the various LSF projects. Around 21 regular contributors spent a lot of time together working in the apartment the LSF team had booked and it was wonderful to see the community meeting in real life and seeing the passion they have for Libre Space Foundation.

Much of the work in the apartment was around SatNOGS however wider LSF projects, rocketry, pocketqube and PQ9ish were also being developed and discussed.

We managed both days at FOSDEM to have a small booth in the AW building and they were extremely well attended. A huge amount of people stopped to talk and to ask questions and many expressed an interest in building a SatNOGS station. The UPsat model and story continues to enthral people which is a fabulous legacy of the mission and the Pocketqube hardware again ignites interest in satellites and the miniaturisation of electronics for space.

Whilst at FOSDEM numerous talks were delivered around LSF projects, and in particular the work on SDR makerspace. Nestoras Sdoukis delivered an excellent update on GR-Soapy. Alex Csete spoke about the SDR Makerspace as a whole, including information and updates around gr-leo and investigations of the IQ database.

Libre Space contributors visited many stands/booths and talks relating to LSF activity. It was great to see SatNOGS contributors showing the Grafana people the public dashboards we are making for SatNOGS. It was obvious the Grafana team were thrilled to see their work being used for such an innovative project. LSF contributors attended KiCAD talks and liased with Gitlab and many other of the open source tools and platforms utilised in LSF work.

Finally we wanted to thank everyone who came either as an LSF contributor, team member or the many hundreds of you who stopped at the booth for a chat. Chatting to you at and since the event leaves us invigorated and inspired to be part of this global team claiming space, the Libre way.