By Bob and Jann Koepke When we think of ground stations for satellites, large antenna arrays and dishes immediately come to mind, along with a lot of expensive electronics. But you can receive transmissions from many satellites using very inexpensive equipment. An inexpensive RTL-SDR (Software Defined Radio) USB dongle and an omnidirectional antenna is a good start.
Forbes (2/27, Knapp) reported that NanoRacks “celebrated” the deployment of two Planet Labs satellites from the ISS on Friday. The company’s launchers had malfunctioned last summer and required “several months of work and repair.” NanoRacks External Payloads Account Manager Conor Brown said that the success is a “testament” to how well the ISS partners can work together with commercial companies. – AIAA See Forbes Article, here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2015/02/27/watch-satellites-moving-into-orbit-from-the-international-space-station