Moonbounce (EME) from Svalbard


LA0BY, last updated May 2000

From October 16, 1994, to June 6, 1995, the author of this page has been operating 144 MHz EME under the callsign JWØBY from the island of Spitsbergen. The location was near the main Norwegian settlement Longyearbyen in the locator JQ88AD. The antenna was an array comprising 4 x 17-element-yagi antennas with linear polarisation, providing a gain of about 18.0 dBD. A stable RF output power of 1 kW was derived from a 2 x 4CX250B amplifier. The preamplifier, using a MGF1302 GaAs-FET with 0.4 dB noise figure, was mounted at the antenna power splitter/combiner. The basic radio, a Kenwood TS430S with 270 Hz CW-filter, was extended in frequency range to cover 144 MHz by means of a linear transverter LT2S.

With this system two-way contacts with 125 amateurs in 6 continents were established. The ERP and the receiver sensitivity was sufficient to frequently copy the own echoes from the Moon (with 2.5 s delay). At such high latitude the absorption and polarisation rotation suffered on the path through the ionosphere were usually dominating over background noise and additional path losses. The system is now dismantled and no further operation from Svalbard is envisaged.