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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Moonbounce, Meteors and French Radar in Scotland

David GM4JJJ was the fellow who sent us the video of early Scottish moonbounce ops.  This morning he sent me a tale of woe involving some transverters and several BASTA! moments.  I will spare you all the painful details, but I really liked this paragraph about David's use of sigs from a French space surveillance radar:  

... While the transverter for 144 MHz was being tested out into my new homebuilt antenna I tried receiving the French space surveillance GRAVES RADAR on 143.050 MHz. It is easily detected here in Scotland via meteor scatter. It is also so strong that passing space hardware like the ISS reflect the RADAR and can also be detected, showing up on FFT displays with their rapid Doppler shift.  GRAVES is also easily detected by moonbounce, I could see it and hear it on my single 10 element yagi pointed at the horizon without a preamp. Even when the moon was at 15 degrees elevation here, and even higher in France the signal was strong enough to be picked up in one of the lobes of my antenna. You can actually see what the vertical pattern of the antenna looks like as the moon rises through the peaks and nulls of the antenna in conjunction with the constructive and destructive interference patterns caused by ground reflections and the direct path to the moon.

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