A collection of Resources for budding SAT hackers (Satellites, not the test). Note: This is an evolving resource, so please contribute with a pull request

Jump ToWeb sites | Articles and Op-Eds | Tools and Projects | Videos | Books and White Papers | 2020 Write-Ups | Programming Libraries | Miscellaneous | Contacts


The democratization of space has opened up a new frontier for exploration and innovation. But with this opportunity, new cybersecurity vulnerabilities are also being created.

One human can design, build and launch a satellite, adhering to very few standards and security protocols. So how can we achieve safe, reliable and trustworthy operations to truly realize the promise of space? …BY HACKING A SATELLITE.

The United States Air Force, in conjunction with the Defense Digital Service, presents this year’s Space Security Challenge, Hack-A-Sat.

This challenge asks hackers from around the world to focus their skills and creativity on solving cybersecurity challenges on space systems… THE QUESTION IS, HOW?


Hack A Sat Workshops

We are bringing a series of interactive workshops to DEF CON in complete Safemode via Twitch.

Check out our vibrant, web-based virtual reality environment to access the workshops at dds-virtual.com, otherwise, see the github repo for the deets on game play for each of the work shops!

Hack A Sat Challenges

Articles And Op-Eds

  • Space Development Agency to launch five satellites aboard SpaceX rideshare by Sandra Erwin.
  • U.S. Army selects Iridium to develop payload for low Earth orbit satellite navigation system by Sandra Erwin.
  • Op-ed | Assessing new launch vehicles on the market by Phillip Bracken.
  • Hackers could shut down satellites – or turn them into weapons by William Akoto.
  • Want to Hack a Satellite? It Might Be Easier Than You Think by Max Eddy with video presentation.
  • It’s Surprisingly Simple to Hack a Satellite by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai about Iridium hacking.
  • Hacking Satellites Is Surprisingly Simple By Ryan Whitwam.
  • Our satellites are prime targets for a cyberattack. And things could get worse. by Gergory Falco.

Web Sites

  • Satellite Orbits, Models, Methods, Applications, Oliver Montenbruck, Eberhard Gill
  • Hackers Homepage on DSS signal hacking
  • School Amateur Radio Club Network: “a free on-line resource for anyone associated with or thinking about setting up a School Amateur Radio Club”
  • Satellite Projects (GOES Satellite Hunt and other), Lucas Teske

Tools And Projects

  • Mini Satellite-Antenna Rotator Mk1: “This project is a portable device used to automatically point a directional antenna towards an orbiting satellite.
  • Webinar: GNSS hacking, from satellite signals to hardware/software cybersecurity
  • Presentation at RSA Conference 2019- Attack Vectors in Orbit: The Need for IoT and Satellite Security by William J Malik, CISA
  • Satellite Project: Hackaday Satellite Projects
  • Tools and infrastructure: QEMU+GDB to emulate a satellite, CCSDS using scapy, infra scripts. Solar Wine


Books And White Papers

  • About: Fundamentals of Astrodynamics and Applications, Third Edition by David A. Vallado
  • About: Fundamentals of Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control by F. Landis Markley, John L. Crassidis
  • About: Satellite Communications Payload and System
  • How To: Satellite Hacking: A Guide for the Perplexed: 
  • How To: Satellite Network Hacking & Security Analysis by Adam Ali.Zare Hudaib
  • How To: Satellite Tool Kit Astronautics Primer by Jerry Jon Sellers Based on Understanding Space: An Introduction to Astronautics
  • How To: NASA’s Beginner’s Guide to Rockets
  • How To: CubeSat 101: Basic Concepts and Processes for First-Time CubeSat Developers
  • How To: DIY Communications and Control for Amateur Space : Talking and Listening to Your Satellite by Sandy Antune
  • How To: Surviving Orbit The DIY way : Testing the Limits Your Satellite Can and Must Match
  • How To: Space Mission Engineering: The New SMAD
  • Types of Risks and Attacks: Attack Vectors in Orbit: The Need for IoT and Satellite Security by William
  • Types of Risks and Attacks: Cybersecurity Principles for Space Systems by Gregory Falco
  • Types of Risks and Attacks: Electronic and Cyber Warfare in Outer Space by Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan

Hack-A-Sat 2020 Writeups


  • CCSDS: The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) is a multi-national forum for the development of communications & data systems standards for spaceflight.
  • OGC: Open Geospatial Consortium is a worldwide community committed to improving access to geospatial, or location information.
  • OMG Space DTF: The OMG Space Domain Task Force (Space DTF) was established to answer a call by industry professionals for greater interoperability as well as a reduction in costs,

Programming Libraries

  • CCSDSPy: Provides an IO Interface for reading CCSDS data in Python. The CCSDS format is used for many NASA and ESA missions for low-level telemetry
  • Satpy: Python library for reading and manipulating meteorological remote sensing data and writing it to various image and data file formats
  • SGP4: Python version of the SGP4 satellite position library
  • Poliastro: Collection of Python functions useful in Astrodynamics and Orbital Mechanics, focusing on interplanetary applications. It provides a simple and intuitive API and handles physical quantities with units
  • Skyfield: Computes positions for the stars, planets, and satellites in orbit around the Earth
  • satellite.js: A library to make satellite propagation via TLEs possible in the web. Provides the functions necessary for SGP4/SDP4 calculations, as callable javascript. Also provides functions for coordinate transforms.
  • Cesium-js: Cesium is the open platform for software applications designed to unleash the power of 3D data.
  • SpacePython: Satellite Operations Language Metamodel.
  • OpenTsiolkovsky: OpenTsiolkovsky is a free , specific usage rocket flight simulator that allow you calcurate rocket trajectry.


  • SPACEX – ISS Docking Simulator: This simulator will familiarize you with the controls of the actual interface used by NASA Astronauts to manually pilot the SpaceX Dragon 2 vehicle to the International Space
  • Satellite, Junk, and Flare Tracking
  • Feed Hunting and Satellite Mapping