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I'm thinking especially of small-time operators. Like if a high school team puts a cubesat into space, do they also put an antenna on the school building and just put up with limited accessibility when the cubesat is over the horizon? Or is there some Groundstations'R'Us provider that could offer access to a wider network?

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Creating your own station does not present a particular technical problem and does not require special technical knowledge.

By creating one station connected to the satnogs.org network, you get access to the monitoring time at other stations of this network. https://network.satnogs.org

You can also take advantage of the Amazon offer - AWS Ground station https://aws.amazon.com/ru/ground-station/?hp=tile&so-exp=below

More about satnogs.org and other networks:

P.S. add SatNOGS Ground Station Building Guide video

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    $\begingroup$ Those are both fascinating! The popular literature never seems to cover this part of the space business, but there must be more to be covered than I had thought. $\endgroup$ – Greg Apr 24 '20 at 19:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Greg I've added some more links $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 25 '20 at 1:06
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    $\begingroup$ @A.Rumlin I hope you don't mind. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 25 '20 at 4:44
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Thanks, this is excellent! Like I hinted at, it seems to be under-discussed in the literature. All kinds of books will tell you all kinds of things about launchers and sensors and power supplies, but not much about that whole slew of details like licensing, communicating, integration, or ground stations. It's not like I've never picked up a book or two on the subject, but I never knew these things existed. It's very exciting, it's making space available to Mr. Everyman. $\endgroup$ – Greg Apr 25 '20 at 18:13

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