On 15 October 2021, the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) in collaboration with SatNOGS launched the Global Satellite Tracking Initiative to select some space enthusiasts and provide them with a kit and step-by-step instructions to build their own ground station (GS), anywhere in the world. After two selection rounds, SGAC has selected ten teams, including five African teams, to receive and set up ground stations in their respective countries. The five African teams include:
- GST Benin team from Benin;
- Flyby encounters from Egypt;
- Harrot Orbit team from Ethiopia;
- Rwanda Space Agency team from Rwanda; and
- SEDS-MSU team from Zimbabwe.
Other beneficiaries of the ground station include:
Two South American winners:
- Chasqui 2 team from Peru; and
- Pacha team from Bolivia
Three Asian winners:
- Team Everest from Nepal;
- Team Deep Space from the Philippines; and
- Ludibrium team from Vietnam
Each team will receive a Ground Station Kit and instructions on receiving real-live images and data from satellites in VHF and UHF radio bands.
About the Global Satellite Tracking Initiative
The Global Satellite Tracking Initiative offers SGAC members the opportunity to set up satellite ground stations. The members subsequently get the opportunity to learn about Earth observation, satellite communications and other related topics. The aim includes developing resources so any SGAC member and space enthusiast can experience and promote the space sector. This promotion will primarily be through hands-on activities and real space technologies related to satellite communications and ground stations. The initiative also supports different space missions while engaging different local communities with the space sector through appealing satellite imagery and radio communication tools.
Notably, the competition is in tandem with the SatNOGS project which aims to build a global network of satellite ground stations. This project is through an open-source participatory project based on the users operating a ground station. Consequently, the ground station is accessible via a web page for all of the network users.