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This is a list of common terms and abbreviations used in the satellite community.

RTL-SDR - A cheal USB 'dongle' based on a commonly available chipset that can be used as a broadband VHF and UHF receiver. There are a huge variety of dongles with a price ranging from $3 to $30+

Azimuth - The azimuth is the angle between the north vector and the perpendicular projection of the satellite (or star) down onto the horizon. Azimuth is usually measured in degrees (°). The concept is used in navigation, astronomy, engineering, mapping, mining and artillery. 

Elevation - The elevation is the angle above the horizon. Elevation is normally measured in degrees (°).The concept is used in navigation, astronomy, engineering, mapping, mining and artillery.

Observation - The scheduling and vetting of a particular satellite through a specific ground station. Observations are scheduled using the SatNOGS Network

Satellite - In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an artificial object which has been intentionally placed into orbit. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as Earth's Moon. Satellites are used for a large number of purposes. Common types include military and civilian Earth observation satellites, communications satellites, navigation satellites, weather satellites, and research satellites. Space stations and human spacecraft in orbit are also satellites. Satellite orbits vary greatly, depending on the purpose of the satellite, and are classified in a number of ways. 

SatNOGS DB - A database of all of the satellites that can be observed through the SatNOGS system. The database contains a brief explanation fo the satelitte, its transmitters and TLE's required to conduct an observation.

SatNOGS Network - The infrastructure based around a client and server that handles observations and the results of the obervations.

SatNOGS Client - Software used to handle scheduling and controlling observations at the ground station

Ground Station - A hardware and software combination that comprises primarily of a receiver, SatNOGS client and antenna. There are two main types. Fixed and Steerable.

Fixed Ground Station - A ground station that uses fixed antennas that wait for the satllite to pass overhead. There are no moving parts in this system.

Steerable Ground Station - A ground station that makes use of a rotator to point antennas at a satellite as it passes overhead. This set up will require a rotator.

Rotator - The Rotator is the mechanism that points the antenna at a satellite, and follows it as it passes overhead. There are multiple versions of the SatNOGS Rotator: * Version 1 * Version 2 * Version 3

Yagi Antenna -

Helical Antenna -

Turnstile Antenna -

Decoder -

Demodulator -

Dashboard -

Glouton -

Altitude - Sometimes referred to as elevation, is the angle between the object and the observer's local horizon. For visible objects it is an angle between 0 degrees to 90 degrees

Attitude -


Horizontal Co-ordinate System - Sometimes also called the az/el system, the Alt/Az system or the altazimuth system (from the name of the altazimuth mount for telescopes, whose two axes follow altitude and azimuth) is a celestial coordinate system that uses the observer's local horizon as the fundamental plane. It is expressed in terms of altitude (or elevation) angle and azimuth.