Watching the Watchers

Hillbilly Tracking of Low Earth Orbit Satellites by Travis Goodspeed.

From the post:

At Black Hat DC in 2008, I watched Adam Laurie present a tool for mapping Ku-band satellite downlinks, which he has since rewritten as Satmap. His technique involves using an DVB-S card in a Linux computer as a receiver through a 90cm Ku-band dish with fixed elevation and a DiSEqC motor for azimuth motion. It was among the most inspirational talks I’d ever seen, and I had a blast recreating his setup and scanning the friendly skies. However, such a rig is limited to geostationary satellites in a small region of the sky; I wanted to see the whole sky, especially the moving targets.

In this article, I’ll demonstrate a method for modifying a naval telecommunications dish to track moving targets in the sky, such as those in Low Earth Orbit. My dish happily sits in Tennessee, while I direct it using my laptop or cellphone here in Europe. It can also run unattended, tracking moving targets and looking for downlink channels.

Low Earth orbit satellites? Oh, yeah, the ones that take high resolution pictures for surveillance purposes.

Probably good practice to developing a low-cost drone detection unit.

Not hard to imagine a loosely organized group sharing signal records for big data crunching and creation of flight maps.

I first saw this in Pete Warden’s Five Short Links for July 23, 2013.

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