Raspberry Pi FUNcube

Raspberry Pi FUNcube satellite telemetry decoder now available

The FUNcube Team has announced the availability of FUNcube CubeSat satellite telemetry decoder software for the popular Raspberry Pi computer board.

The original FUNcube telemetry decoder and Dashboard was designed to run on Windows devices and the FUNcube team did publish the telemetry format in accordance with the Amateur Satellite Service traditions and requirements.

The Team had planned to opensource the Telemetry Decoder and provide an implementation on Linux, but several new missions after the original FUNcube-1 delayed their plans somewhat.

Late 2019, the Team had the opportunity to develop a low power/low impact ground station, based on Docker containers, for use at the Neumayer III Antarctic base at DP0GVN. This led us to evolve the code such that it would run on a Raspberry Pi. Duncan, 2E0GTV, has been able to produce this variant of the code and allow us to fully realize our Open Source commitment to the FUNcube project.

FUNcube CubeSat satellite telemetry decoder software
RPi decoder receiving telemetry from JY1Sat in Interactive mode

The Linux implementation is suitable for use on Raspberry Pi versions from 2B+ to 4 and with a FUNcube dongle (Pro or Pro+). The software will tune a dongle to search for and track all three FUNcube compatible spacecraft currently operational. The Telemetry Decoder is configured with five active decoders operating concurrently so it can deal with situations where more than one of the spacecraft are overhead at the same time.

The decoder and warehouse uploader run as a Docker container for convenience shell scripts have been provided to launch the container in one of two modes:

“Interactive Mode” is when the Telemetry Decoder operates in the foreground , when FUNcube compatible telemetry is received, the corresponding hex data is displayed on the terminal screen.

“Background Mode” allows the telemetry decoder to run as a Docker image in the background where it operates much like any other background service on Linux. This mode allows for the automatic restarting of the telemetry decoder after a shutdown or reboot of the Raspberry Pi, therefore making it suitable for a remote deployment situation.

*Both modes, when connected to the internet, will upload the received data to the FUNcube Data Warehouse and the totals displayed on the Ranking Page in the normal manner.

*Uploading to the warehouse requires online registration with the FUNcube Data Warehouse.

All the code for the telemetry decoder, and the scripts to build the Docker images, are now published online under a GPL Open Source License at the FUNcube-Dev GitHub account

Alternatively, it possible to buy a pre-formatted microSD card for the Pi from the AMSAT-UK shop at https://shop.amsat-uk.org/

FUNcube Data Warehouse http://warehouse.funcube.org.uk/missions


SD Card with Raspberry Pi Image and Open source FUNcube Telemetry Decoder

Thank you for supporting the FUNcube project and purchasing this SD card which contains a docker implementation of a FUNcube Telemetry Decoder and data warehouse uploader for the Raspberry Pi (applicable models Pi 2B up to and including 4).

PLEASE NOTE : All of the software on this SD card is available for free download from the following sources

Raspberry Pi Raspbian Image : http://raspberrypi.org/downloads/

Docker for Raspberry Pi : https://docker.com/

FUNcubeLib – FUNcube Telemetry Receiver : https://github.com/funcube-dev/

FUNcubeLib is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

FUNcubeLib is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with FUNcubeLib If not, see <http:www.gnu.org/licenses/>.

Instructions for use:

Before use, there are a couple of user specific modifications that need to be made to configuration files for the software to function correctly.

1.    Insert SD card into a PC/MAC/Linux computer and navigate to the /boot/config directory on the first partition on the SD card.

2.    Edit the fcwarehouse.conf file and enter your site-id and auth-code for the FUNcube Telemetry Warehouse in the places indicated.

3.    IF you do not have a site-id and auth-code for the FUNcube Telemetry Warehouse, or have forgotten them, please see http://data.amsat-uk.org/registration for details of obtaining these parameters.

4.    Make sure that a FUNcube Dongle (either Pro or Pro + version) is plugged into the Raspberry Pi and connected to an antenna.

Insert the SD card into a Raspberry Pi and allow to boot to the desktop. Configure network access using either wireless or wired networking facilities.

Change into the “funcube-dev” directory and run the fcrun_background.sh script.

This will launch the background docker process that will listen for FUNcube Telemetry from any of the current FUNcube/FUNcube compatible satellites (FUNcube-1, Nayif-1, JY1SAT).

By default, there is no output from the docker image onto a terminal. You can view the output from the telemetry decoder at any time by entering the following docker command:-

docker logs decodeserver

The docker based system started with the fcrun_background.sh script will restart automatically after a reboot of the Raspberry Pi.

If you wish to see output from the decoder, please run the fcrun_interactive.sh script instead. Note however, this will not automatically restart the decoder if terminated or the Raspberry Pi is restarted.

Please note that we cannot offer individual support for installations of the FUNcube Telemetry Receiver or Docker image. However, we will be watching the FUNcube@Groups.IO forum for questions and will try and respond in a timely manner.


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