Camp 2011 - Version 1.4

Chaos Communication Camp 2011
Project Flow Control

Andreas Schreiner
Clemens Hopfer
Patrick Strasser
Day Day 4 - 2011-08-13
Room Kourou
Start time 12:00
Duration 01:00
ID 4597
Event type Lecture
Track Hacker Space Program
Language used for presentation English

Moonbounce Radio Communication

To the Moon and back in two seconds. The joy of light speed information travel

Moon bounce, also known as EME (Earth-Moon-Earth), is a technique that allows two earth-based radio stations to communicate directly by using the moon as passive reflector.

It is the longest path two stations on Earth can use to establish direct connection with each other. First developed the late 1940s by the United States Navy it was used as a revolutionary way to communicate without the uncertainties of shortwave radio propagation. The development of artificial satellites completely obsoleted this usecase only a few years later but the technique itself is still one of the most challenging tasks in radio communication. Today it's Amateur Radio stations that are practising the art of Moon bounce. We are here to tell and to show you how it is done.

Amateur Radio Operators are one of the oldest sub-groups in the Hacker universe. Long before the term Hacker was coined there were people tinkering in their Shacks, building equipment and trying to communicate with like-minded spirits from all over the world. Moon bounce is not the newest kid on the block in the radio field but still most demanding in terms of necessary equipment as well as operating skills.

We provide you with a little historic background, some basic facts about how radio communication even works and then explain what has to be done to achieve the goal of bouncing signals off the moon. In a weird coincidence we will actually have a Moon bounce setup at the camp site so expect some current pictures as well as juicy tales of the radio art.

"But wait!" you say, "The moon's only up half of the day". Well, you're right. Remember those artificial satellites that replaced the moon in military as well as commercial applications? We have them too! Amateur Radio Satellites and even the International Space Station can easily be reached with a very modest radio setup so we will explore these communication modes too.

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