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Website Last updated April 22,2008
==> GERMAN AMSAT TEAM TRANSMITS, RECEIVES SIGNALS FROM VENUS
On March 25, a group from AMSAT-DL bounced radio signals off the surface
of Venus, marking the first time Amateur Radio operators have bounced
radio signals off another planet
&g2_itemId=7561>. According to AMSAT-DL President Peter Guelzow, DB2OS,
the Earth-Venus-Earth (EVE) transmission is another step in preparing
for a mission to Mars. According to an AMSAT-DL press release, the
team's transmitter was generating about 6 kW CW on 2.4 GHz.
Guelzow said that signals were sent from a ground control station at the
IUZ Sternwarte observatory in Bochum: "After traveling almost 100
million kilometers and a round trip delay of about 5 minutes, they were
clearly received as echoes from the surface of Venus. This was the first
German success to receive echoes of other planets. In addition, this is
the farthest distance crossed by radio amateurs, over 100 times further
than echoes from the moon (EME reflections)."
The EVE experiment was repeated on March 26 for several hours with "good
echoes" from Venus, Guelzow said. "Morse code was used to transmit the
well-known 'HI' signature known from the AMSAT OSCAR satellites."
For receiving the EVE reflections, Guelzow said that the team used a
fast Fourier transform (FFT) analysis with an integration time of 5
minutes. "After integrating for 2 minutes only, the reflected signals
were clearly visible in the display," he said. "Despite the bad weather,
signals from Venus could be detected from 1038 UTC on until the planet
reached the local horizon."
Guelzow explained that with the EVE reflections, the high power
amplifier "has therefore passed this crucial test as a final key
component for the planned P5-A Mars mission. By receiving generated
echoes from Venus, the ground and command station for the Mars probe has
been cleared for operational use and the AMSAT-DL team is now gearing up
for building the P5-A space probe. AMSAT-DL wants to show that
low-budget interplanetary exploration is possible with its approach."
Development, design and construction of this first German Mars mission
have been achieved by AMSAT-DL and its partner organizations, Guelzow
explained. "Already a third of the total project costs were performed.
More work shall follow during the mission. AMSAT-DL would like to
demonstrate that their approaches to low-cost space missions are
feasible." -- Information provided by AMSAT-DL