Send it via outer space

Some thoughts and ideas on satellite transmission

How can I send via Satellite

At HMKV Dortmund in the Workshop Satellite/Border/Footprint the question came up if it would be possible to send directly to a satellite. During the workshop a lot of art projects were shown, that work with received satellite data. The shown projects update the already existing Artist Working With Satellites List by Max Neupert. Lisa Parks showed satellite TV enthusiasts covering their whole house with sat dishes to receive a broad range of signals. She showed as well improvised, hand crafted dishes made of metal pots. So there are ways to receive. But is it possible to send information directly via satellite in the context of an artistic project or open technology? Of course it is but realization depends on laws and at least on the budget. So what can one do? Collect information and calculate.....


  • Antennas, Receivers, Transmitters, Transponders and Encryption - technological basics
  • Transmitting/Receiving

Sharing information via electro magnetic fields is a highly protected form of communication. A small number of frequencies can be received for several applications in everyday life e.g Radio(UHF), TV(UHF/Satellite), Internet 2.4 GHz. surveillance cameras 2.4 GHz, GPS[[GPS|Global Positioning System]],... Its allowed to send in some of those frequencies, like in the 2.4 Ghz frequency used for WiFi internet and other civil transmission. Most other Frequencies are forbidden for public use. Radio Amateurs or Ham Radio Amateurs have the right to use some. To become a Radio Amateur one has to pass a quite complex test on technology and laws of radio communication. Unlike the untested public radio user Ham Radio Amateurs are allowed to send on the frequencies they are receiving. The Ham Radio community is a world wide network based on private equipment reaching from very low level to highly advanced technology. Most of the Radio Amateurs search for signals coming from a far out place. The aim of transmission is as well to reach a far away receiver. If another amateur is found both exchange their radio amateur name via voice, talk a bit and log the contact. After a contact, most of Ham Radio Amateurs send each other postcards. Nowadays the internet is integrated in the For special events Radio Amateurs search in cars with mobile systems for hidden transmitters. The Ham Radio communication structure is supported by several states in form of special activities e.g. satellite launches cause Radio Amateurs could act as a back up communication network in case of emergency or war. HISTORICAL EXAMPLE??? The launched satellites are built by private initiatives. The history of home made Satellite goes back to 1960 when a team of 6 Radio Amateurs built a fully functional Satellite named OSCAR 1. The Satellite was launched in Space from WHERE??? and WHO LAUNCHED IT??? It was sending a coded hi from outer space to other Ham Radio Enthusiast. Nowadays the small group developed into the international AMSAT community for amateur satellites. A Description of all AMSAT satellites and there frequencies as well as an explanation of the transmission process and the equipment is displayed on-line by the AMSAT organisation.

Becoming a Ham Radio Amateur

One simple way to send via an satellite is to join the radio amateur community. Becoming a ham radio amateur is quite a hard work, but not very complicated. If you learned your lessons from a book, a CD-ROM or on line you can pass the test at your national agency, that is in charge for radio frequencies. In Germany this is the Bundesnetzagentur. The dates for the test in different cities around Germany are sown here.

"The Great Brazilian Sat-Hack Crackdown"

Wired reports the arrest of 39 people in Brazil hijacking of U.S. military satellite transponders.

"This had been happening for more than five years," says Celso Campos, of the Brazilian Federal Police. "Since the communication channel was open, not encrypted, lots of people used it to talk to each other."

Some recordings of the transmissions were recorded and uploaded to YouTube:

Brazilian filmmaker Bruno Vianna just finished a documentary about this case, which is going to be released on September 15th.

More information and recordings at the Bogota Declaration blog.

Satellite communication

Earth is covered by a dynamic shell of secret and official satellites. They are launched by states like China, USA, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, etc... for military and secret service applications. Beside official organisations like NASA, ESA, DLR, etc... numerous private concerns launch satellites. Those satellites stream live TV casts, transmit TV shows, send SMS or email and transfer data or voice through outer space around the world. The owners of all existing satellites are shown here:...............

Buying Time on a Private Satellite

  • Where can I buy?-------What can I send-------How much does it cost
  • ------- SMS, voice, data ------- a phone is about 2000 euro

Hacking the Signal

  • Transmitting to a Satellite


  • Hardware/Architecture


  • Source data


  • Encoding


Launch Your own Satellite

  • CubeSats


  • How to Build a Satellite


  • Does it has to be verified for space flight?


  • Where can I Launch it


  • How much does a launch cost?


  • Am I allowed to launch it?

  • links

[1] - send an sms via Iridium