Reverse Engineering the Outernet Signal
Outernet is a satellite based file delivery service. Currently they’re beta testing their service and they are using RTL-SDR’s as the receiver. In previous posts we’ve seen that they’re now regularly transmitting weather updates, wikipedia files and more files like images and books. Over time the service is becoming more and more useful. If you’re interested in receiving their service we have a tutorial available here.
While most of the Outernet software is open sourced, the signal protocol itself is closed source, which ties you into needing to use the official Outernet software. Over on his blog, Daniel Estévez has been working on reverse engineering the Outernet signal with the goal of publishing the results and building a fully open source receiver.
So far he’s managed to fully reverse engineer the modulation, coding and framing. He’s also been able to build a GNU Radio program that receives the Outernet frames and a Python program called free-outernet which does the decoding. His post goes into greater details on how he reverse engineered the signal and what his finding are.