3.8 KiB


This is a tool to automatically compute passes of satellites on the SatNOGS network. It uses code from the SatNOGS network scheduler. It requires python-satellitetle for downloading TLEs.


sudo apt-get install libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev
pip install -r requirements.txt


Copy the env-dist file to .env and set your SatNOGS Network API token.

Test run

Perform a test run to download orbital elements and transmitter priorities (these are stored in /tmp/cache) with -s <ground station ID> -n

The -n option computes the passes but does not schedule them. To schedule these passes, run -s <ground station ID>

Setup priority scheduling

The following commands will add a list consisting of all DUV, BPSK1k2, BPSK9k6, [G]MSK and [G]FSK transmitters into priorities_37.txt. Please change the station id (here 37 - in the cache file and the list file name) to your corresponding one!


awk '{if ($3>=80) print $0 }' ${TRM_FILE} | grep -e "FSK" | awk '{printf("%s 1.0 %s\n",$1,$2)}' > ${PRIO_FILE}
awk '{if ($3>=0) print $0 }' ${TRM_FILE} | grep -e "BPSK1k2" | awk '{printf("%s 1.0 %s\n",$1,$2)}' >> ${PRIO_FILE}
awk '{if ($3>=0) print $0 }' ${TRM_FILE} | grep -e "BPSK9k6" | awk '{printf("%s 1.0 %s\n",$1,$2)}' >> ${PRIO_FILE}
awk '{if ($3>=80) print $0 }' ${TRM_FILE} | grep -e "MSK" | awk '{printf("%s 1.0 %s\n",$1,$2)}' >> ${PRIO_FILE}
sort -n -k 4 ${TRM_FILE} | grep -e "DUV" | awk '{printf("%s 1.0 %s\n",$1,$2)}' >> ${PRIO_FILE}

Add cron-job

Start editing your default user's cron (select your preferred editor):

crontab -e

Add a line like this - execute the scheduling script on each full hour:

0 */1 * * * <path_to_auto_scheduler>/ -s <station_id> -d 1.2 -P <path_to_priority_list>/<priority_file>.txt -f -z

Omit the -f option to also fill in the gaps, but be aware if using a rotator setup! This will wear-out your rotator very quickly! Add -w 60 for a delay if you want to give your rotator a bit of time (60 s) to reset or home.

Add systemd-timer

The advantage of using a systemd-timer for invoking the auto-scheduler lies in the better logging output (you can use journalctl -u satnogs-auto-scheduler.service to access the log output).

  • Add a systemd service unit file at /etc/systemd/system/satnogs-auto-scheduler.service:

    Description=Schedule SatNOGS observations for 1.2h on station 132
    ExecStart=<path_to_auto_scheduler>/env/bin/python <path_to_auto_scheduler>/ -s <station_id> -d 1.2 -P <path_to_priority_list>/<priority_file>.txt -z
  • Add a systemd timer unit file at /etc/systemd/system/satnogs-auto-scheduler.timer:

    Description=Run satnogs-auto-scheduler hourly and on boot
  • Start the timer with

    sudo systemctl start satnogs-auto-scheduler.timer
  • Enable the timer to be started on boot with

    sudo systemctl enable satnogs-auto-scheduler.timer

If you want to run the auto-scheduler once manually, you can do so with

sudo systemctl start satnogs-auto-scheduler.service


The following command will list all available command-line arguments:

./ --help


license Copyright 2019 - Cees Bassa, Fabian Schmidt, Pierros Papadeas