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Cluster Activity

Spots per uW band today:
UK spotter or spotted only.

Solar data:

My Weather

Date:23/03/18 Time:14:17
Wind Speed:15mph
Wind Dir:202deg
Dew Point:15.1C
More 8.4GHz DSN Reception

So, after a long time not looking for signals from Deep Space i thought i would re-visit, March 2018.

A day was spent getting the receiver back up and running which seemed ok, i attached the dual polarity feed to the dish.
Quick tests showed about 6dB sun noise SFI:75, seemed a little lower than last time but was good enough to see a good signal from Syracause 3 satellite at 5deg West on 7705MHz.
Next i pointed at Stereo-A, the best satellite to test the system.... nothing detected!

I spent another day tweaking the LNA and checking feed position to no avail, while chatting on #hearsat irc channel Paul Marsh commented on polarity...
As you have probably guessed i was setup for LHCP, most deep space signls are Richt hand Circular. I swapped the LNA to the other port on the feed and bingo, Stereo-A was there all be it not that strong.
More time was spent optimising the feed position on the big dish (not ideal for X-Band!) and i managed to get the Sun vs cool sky noise up to around 9.4dB @ SFI:69 and a nice audible tone from Stereo-A.

Stereo-A, Dawn, Spitzer and Mars express signals have been detected since then, all with 'good' signals :-)

While i have been looking for other DSN signals Dawn Spacecraft has been Txing all the time so it a useful signal to monitor at 270 Million km away orbiting Ceres, a minor planet near Neptune!

I have yet to hear any of the other Mars orbiters but they are low in the sky at present and are only above the Horixon early morning, not my best time of day! i will look for these later in the year.

I have been putting an app together to grab the jpl Horizons data for the spacecraft and display it nicely, this is still a work in progress but very useful for a 'click to receive' system! It ties in with my home made dish controller software (com port, tracking part) and SDR# for frequency tuning/doppler correction.

Here are some screen grabs of the signals:

Dawn @ Ceres 22/03/2018

Spitzer Telescope 7/3/2018

Mars Express 9/3/2018

Stereo-A 22/3/18

Last page added:22/03/18 19:16