indexphinger

Satellite Hacking.

14 posts in this topic

So, I've been looking skyward for new opportunities... What about hacking old discarded satellites that may be still functional?

I have been pondering it, for educational use we could gather old sat's and hook them together and such...

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most satellites are glorified mirrors. You can't really communicate with them directly, but they can reflect or relay your transmissions. I read something really interesting about people at the research station in Antarctica getting Internet and phone access by utilizing abandoned satellites that are in the right position to get transmissions to south america at certain times of the day.

I think the main problem you'll have with this is equipment and (on my part at least) lack of knowledge when it comes to radio. DrakeAnubis recently posted about receiving image data from NOAA satellites, you might want to search the site for that as well.

There's also the issue of immense cost of these things. Satellites are not cheap at all. If you somehow start messing with what you think is an abandoned satellite that someone is still using and watching, and especially if you happen to mess it up somehow, the company that spent millions designing and putting that satellite in orbit won't just let it slide. Poking a grizzly bear is not a good idea, you'd better be sure it's hibernating!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're looking for something to practice with, you might check out the amateur radio satellites that are up there.

Amsat

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first thing you'd need to do is find out the TX/RX frequencies of the satellite, then you'd need to get a radio that can transmit and receive on those frequencies. Then, you'd have to build the proper kind of antenna(s) for transmitting/receiving those frequencies.

If the target satellite is in a geostationary orbit, then you'd have to mount the antenna(s) on a mast, tower, rooftop, etc. and direct the it at the satellite's location in the sky. If it's in an elliptical or circular orbit, you'd have to mount your antenna(s) in a group, with azimuth/elevation rotors and you'd need some kind of satellite tracking software to control the rotors and move the antenna group to track the satellite as it crosses the sky. The length of time for each communication session would vary according to the velocity of the satellite along its orbit.

It's a rather complicated setup to build, and there may also be other difficulties. For instance, communications satellites are often used as relays to pick up signals from one area of the globe and transmit them back (on the same or a different frequency) to another geographic area. If your target satellite is one of these, you'd have to have somebody with another similar radio setup in that other location to communicate with. Older, disused satellites may have orbital eccentricities which could make accurate tracking extremely difficult.

As heywire pointed out, if you're really interested in satellite communications, you should get licensed as an Amateur radio operator. There are many Amateur Radio Satellites (AMSATs) currently in operation which you can access using standard ham radio transceivers. You'd still have to build (or buy) a setup like I described above, with azimuth-elevation rotors and a tracking computer, but there are a variety of frequency bands and communication modes you can play with. You can find pictures and instructions for building homebrew satellite setups on the Web and in the pages of QST magazine.

You might want to start a thread about satellite communications in the BinRev HAM Radio/Hardware Hacking forum.

Edited by Colonel Panic
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You might want to play with satellite phones. They're expensive by the way.

i could get an old globalstar set :D

posted with psp btw

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dug through our old lake house the other day and cleaned out some stuff.

Among other things I pilfered was the old DirecPc one way system,pretty sure it was the first one as we got it as soon as DirecPC became available.

I've been searching online for something I can do with it,looking for any fun ideas at all.

Being as old as it is and the first release i'm betting it's pretty hackable.

Haven't brought the dish home yet,just grabbed the modem while i'm waiting for weather to clear up here.

Any ideas? Still have the original discs even.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I seem to recall reading that one of the amateur satellites has a small message board attached. AO-50 perhaps?

Other than that, yeah, there's a hell of a lot of repeaters in orbit and anything more interesting is probably still in active use and most likely owned by people you don't want to play with.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was doing some scanning once and found some port open for a satellite control system or something like that. I did some research and it was a port for an SAS system. Nmap recognized it, oddly.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is some cool stuff you can get through satellites, try looking into fta receivers, they receive free tv by decrypting some shit and getting a key in which they can get around 1,000 channels for free.

Remember, a satellite is for bouncing a signal off of, hacking one, is well, not theoretically very useful.

This probably isn't the best time I be typing a message,.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There is some cool stuff you can get through satellites, try looking into fta receivers, they receive free tv by decrypting some shit and getting a key in which they can get around 1,000 channels for free.

Remember, a satellite is for bouncing a signal off of, hacking one, is well, not theoretically very useful.

This probably isn't the best time I be typing a message,.

In theory a few sattelites have a service mode in which you could check the RTG (for russian ones usually I'm assuming) or the quality of signal...etc.

:) kinda how they talked to the voyager probe.

hehehe run debian on a 1million dollar sattelite and talk to it with puTTY over a modded directPC 2way unit :P

Edited by IndexPhinger
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's fun to be had with HAM satellites, I think that there was a HPR episode on this a while ago.

There's also the UoSat 'brds' which have been sending down information to HAMs/Schools/Etc for more than 20years. Here's a write up on their old antenna system (a gun mount from a WW2 destoyer).

http://personal.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/L...about/dish.html

Cheers,

Mungewell.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was out in South America doing a thing for work last year and there is a massive satellite hacking scene but its largely just bouncing signals off old US military FLTSATCOM satellites as their range is just 240 - 400MHz, I would have no issues doing it with a modded Icom IC-E90 and a home made antenna.

Edited by m3747r0n
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's cool stuff. I've got an Icom R-20 and actually just mounted my antennas higher up on the house. I need to read up more on the decoding end of things. This is an interesting thread. I'd curious to hear more about what people are doing along these lines.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now