We had support locally from the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) and financial support from the OTVA to make this happen. Kids from all over the world took part in WMBD. We broke records with a 3mW transmission from the old NASA Orroral Valley dish (now in Tasmania with UTAS) and a dish in the Netherlands – both 30m dishes. The data was successfully decoded and a new record set. The gain in these dishes is massive – about 60dB each for the technical. It is great to think that the gains of dirt on the surface of the moon where shaking ever so slightly and reflecting back the voices of children for a global hookup.
The story of World Moon Bounce Day and the 2010 World Moon Bounce event is below and taken from the Echoes of Apollo Website. The 2010 event turned more into a week long event as my partner in crime in the US – Pat Barthelow – managed to secure the Aricebo Dish for a week or so! This was written before the 2010 event:
EOA April 17th 2010
This major event will add a new word to most people’s vocabulary – Moon Bounce. Moon Bounce has been happening for almost as long as the oldest of us can remember. From the early days when it was thought to be a means of communications that the military could exploit right through to today’s more peaceful use by amateur radio hobbyists. So what is moon bounce? Also known technically as Earth-Moon-Earth transmissions (EME), it is simply bouncing radio waves off the moon’s surface and back to earth. Every day hundreds of people enjoy doing just that and they do it as everyday people using mainly homemade dishes and antennas and a mix of “do it yourself” systems, electronics and “off the shelf” equipment.
So why hold World Moon Bounce Day? At Echoes of Apollo we are both interested in space (especially the moon) and amateur radio. We created an event to highlight both of these amazing areas of interest. We are also looking to the commercial world to take part soon and make this an event for the whole world to enjoy
On Saturday, April 17th, many of the world’s large parabolic antennas (sometimes called dishes) along with hundreds of amateur radio operators and their gear will stop their normal work and swing around to track the moon when it rises. Volunteers will then use the EME or Moon Bounce transmissions to link up with other dishes and antennas worldwide via the moon. Signals are literally being bounced off the moon’s surface and back to other stations on earth where they are received some 2.5 seconds later. Yes, at an atomic level we are actually shaking each atom on the moon’s surface every so slightly and they then radiate the signal back into space and to earth where we again use our high gain antennas and dishes to receive them
The sites will be run by volunteers from the amateur radio community and they will be helping local youth talk to other youth from around the world in a “Jamboree of the Air” style event. This type of activity has happened before but never on this scale. One fantastic demonstration was a small Moon Bounce occurred in 2007 to celebrate the UK’s Jodrell Bank Telescope’s 50th anniversary generated press and TV coverage. Children read and listened to their poetry being bounced of the moon. Jodrell Bank held another event in 2009, but it was a small event with a local transmitter.
The first World Moon Bounce Day held in June 2009 was huge by comparison with much high voice quality in comparison given the sizes of the big dishes at both ends that were involved. The bigger they are, the more effective power they will radiate and also the more power they gather and concentrate for reception.
Web video of World Moon Bounce Day on June 27th will be available on this website with feeds from multiple sites, so you can see all the action taking place. We have invited some of the world’s biggest dishes an a wealth of important people. We already have several large antennas taking part and we will provide a list shortly.
Why April 17th 2010?
At Echoes of Apollo we celebrate the amazing achievements of the Apollo astronauts and their vast numbers of support staff, whether part of the rocket design team, mission control or NASA‘s global communications network. We simply have the most incredible team ever assembled with a single goal that was beyond anyones expertise at the time of its announcement 10 years earlier. We celebrated the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 with out first annual World Moon Bounce Day and this year we will be honoring Apollo 13′s return to earth 40 years earlier. Echoes of Apollo still believe that this mission was one of the most amazing and riveting stories of the space age. It is the only Hollywood movie made of any of he Apollo missions.
Arecibo Puerto Rico
This year, April 16,17,18, Echoes of Apollo Moon Bounce, a fun, educational, science outreach activity, will conduct 2 way Voice communications by bouncing radio signals off the Moon. One day of the event, Saturday, the 17th, has been assigned the Moniker, “World Moon Bounce Day”. Commonly known among the specialist amateur radio operators (hams) that do this, as EME, for Earth-Moon- Earth, this time, the Echoes of Apollo Moon Bounce event is quite special, and opens a big door of opportunity for Science outreach.The Arecibo Observatory amateur radio club has built an amateur radio EME station at the Arecibo 1000 ft dish. Angel Vazquez, club president, is working with his team of radio amateurs and have produced a 500 watt station that will operate in the 70cm band, on 432.045 mhz. The 500 watts at the feed of 58 dbi gain dish will produce a very loud signal that will be bounced from the moon, and can be heard, using very modest antennas.
On March 19, and 22, Arecibo conducted a test of their station on the air, establishing 2 way Moon Bounce contact with many ham radio operators all over the world. The test, established that the very strong return signals from the moon, can be picked up, using radio communications receivers capable receiving 432.045 MHz SSB and/or CW signals, and equipped with small, yagi antennas.
As a science/Education outreach activity, EOA co founder, Pat Barthelow, has arranged for amateur radio mentors, and teachers, to supervise the construction of very simple, cheap yagi antennas that can be used to hear the moon bounced signals, returned to earth. The yagi antennas are easy and cheap to build, according to published designs, and made from wooden 1 x 2 sticks, about 3-6 feet long, and welding rod,copper or aluminum wire.
Pat Barthelow: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1535563951&ref=ts
Robert Brand: http://www.facebook.com/Echoes.Of.Apollo?ref=profile
So far we have moon bounce-capable stations in the US, Europe, and, of course Arecibo in Puerto Rico. (Look up on Google Earth, latitude 18.33 degrees north, and Longitude 66.75 degrees West
Some other stations in Europe planning on participating, are:
Dwingeloo dish run by the CAMRAS group in Holland, http://www.camras.nl
HB9MOON 10 meter Dish, in Chur Switzerland, run by Christoph, HB9HAL:
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Dishes at their Haystack facility. MIT based Radio Amateurs are anticipated to be active with MIT station setup and operating.
The world wide event, will have different stations around the world communicating whenever the moon is visible between them, and in the case of Arecibo, there will be two hour windows of operations, each of the three scheduled days. Arecibo only has limited time viewing the moon due the limited “steering” of about 20 degrees
On this weekend, this translates to operating times from Arecibo of:
Apr 16 1645 – 1930 UTC
Apr 17 1740 – 2020 UTC
Apr 18 1840 – 2125 UTC
FFI: Pat Barthelow AA6EG (Founder of Echoes of Apollo)
Echoes of Apollo
Here is a video of the event from UTAS in 2009:
The large antenna, pictured below, at Mt Pleasant in Tasmania, Australia (University of Tasmania) is typical of the antennas that will be involved in Moon Bounce and it took part inthe 2009 World Moon Bounce Day. Photo by Jim Lovell of UTAS.
Another big dish was the SRI – Stanford 150ft Dish (45m). The reports from the site were amazing and the excitement high. Pat Barthelow reports via phone during the final 5 hours of the 2009 event as they were working Europe and Australia was coming back into view. You can hear Pat’s report below.