From the April 3, 2009 ARRL Letter:
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. 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. Pictures of the equipment used can be found on the
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EVE !!! - Radio Amateurs bounce a signal off VenusRadio Amateurs have achieved the very first reception of amateur signals bounced off the planet Venus, over 50 million km away - EVE (Earth-Venus-Earth)
Peter Guelzow DB2OS, President of AMSAT-DL has provided a description of this landmark achievement.
On March 25th, 2009 a team from the German space organisation AMSAT-DL reached another milestone on its way to an own interplanetary probe towards planet Mars.
The Bochum Amateur Radio facility
After travelling almost 100 million kilometers and a round trip delay of about 5 minutes, they were clearly received as echoes from the surface of Venus.
Receiving these planetary echoes is a first for Germany and Europe. In addition, this is the farthest distance crossed by radio amateurs, over 100 times further than echoes from the moon (EME reflections).
For receiving the EVE signals, an FFT analysis with an integration time of 5 minutes was used. After integrating for 2 minutes only, the reflected signals were clearly visible in the display. Despite the bad weather, signals from Venus could be detected from 1038UT until the planet reached the local horizon.
The 2.4 GHz high power amplifier used for this achievement is described in the current AMSAT-DL journal.
This represented a crucial test for a final key component of the planned P5-A Mars mission. By receiving echoes from Venus, the ground and command station for the Mars probe has been cleared for operational use and the AMSAT team is now gearing up for building the P5-A space probe.
member James Miller G3RUH and Achim Vollhardt DH2VA receiving Voyager
Signals using the Bochum Amateur Radio station in 2006
in negotiation with the DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) amongst others, to obtain financial support for the remaining budget of 20 Mil Euros.
AMSAT-DL wants to show that low-cost interplanetary exploration is possible with its approach.
More information and the link to the official press release [in German]:
The EVE experiment was repeated on Thursday, March 26th for several hours with good echoes from Venus. Morse code was used to transmit the well known “HI“ signature known from the AMSAT OSCAR satellites.
73s de DB2OS
A video showing P5-A Project Leader Prof. Dr. Karl Meinzer DJ4ZC and Freddy ON6UG with the 2.4 GHz amplifier used for EVE can be seen at: http://tinyurl.com/EVE13cmAmp
Peter DB2OS and other members of the AMSAT-DL team regularly attend the AMSAT-UK International Space Colloquium. This year the Colloquium is being held at the University of Manchester from Friday July 24th to Sunday 26th July . Further details at
AMSAT-DL has achieved a number of Amateur Radio firsts using the Bochum facility. This was a disused radio telescope restored by volunteers to serve as a ground station for the Amateur Radio mission to Mars P5-A, the first private venture interplanetary spacecraft.
Control Software for the Amateur Radio Bochum Facility
Voyager 1 received by AMSAT-DL group
AMSAT-UK Colloquium 2006 – Receiving Voyager 1 http://www.southgatearc.org/news/june2006/
AMSAT P5-A ground station successfully receives ESA's MARS-EXPRESS Probe
Presentations on P3E and the Mars Orbiter P5-A
GO-Mars with AMSAT-DL's P5A Mission
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