gr-satellites is a GNU Radio out-of-tree module, and it should be installed as such. The general steps for installing gr-satellites include making sure that all the dependencies are installed and then building and installing the out-of-tree module.


gr-satellites requires GNU Radio version at least 3.8.


There are some build dependencies for GNU Radio out-of-tree modules that are not required to run GNU Radio, so some distributions might not install them by default when GNU Radio is installed. The main ones that may cause problems are:

  • swig
  • liborc (in Debian-based distributions liborc-0.4-0-dev is needed)

Additionally, the following libraries are required:


libfec can be built and installed from its git repository by doing

$ git checkout
$ cd libfec
$ mkdir build
$ cmake ..
$ make
$ sudo make install

construct and requests are Python packages and can be installed with pip by doing

$ pip3 install --user --upgrade construct requests

Alternatively, construct and requests can be installed from your distribution’s package manager

Optional dependencies

To use the realtime image decoders, gr-satellites needs feh


feh is best installed through your distribution’s package manager

Building and installing

gr-satellites can be built and installed using cmake:

$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make
$ sudo make install

After running make, you can run the tests by doing make test in the build/ directory.


After installing gr-satellites, it is necessary to ensure that Python is able to locate the gr-satellites Python module. Depending on the configuration of Python and the location where gr-satellites has been installed, it might be necessary to set the PYTHONPATH environment variable.

If Python is not able to locate the gr-satellites module, it will produce an error like this:

ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'satellites'

Often, gr-satellites is installed into /usr/local/lib/python3/dist-packages/ or a similar directory, in a subdirectory called satellites. Therefore,

$ export PYTHONPATH=/usr/local/lib/python3/dist-packages/

can be used to allow Python to find the gr-satellites module. More information about the PYTHONPATH can be found in Python’s documentation description of the PYTHONPATH.

Downloading sample recordings

The satellite-recordings/ directory is a git submodule that contains many short sample recordings of different satellites that can be used to test the decoders. The submodule can be cloned (downloaded) by running

$ git submodule update --init

inside the gr-satellites/ directory.

Alternatively, it is possible to run

$ git clone --recursive

when cloning the gr-satellites repository to download both gr-satellites and the satellite-recordings submodule.

The satellite-recordings sample recordings can also be downloaded from its own git repository.