The ARTSAT2:DESPATCH team have sent a a 3D printed QSL card to Michał Zawada SQ5KTM and the Polish team to confirm their reception of the amateur radio signal from the FO-81 spacecraft at a distance of 2,715,228 km from Earth.
On 9 December 2014, at 9:50:23 p.m. UTC we received signals from the ARTSAT 2: DESPATCH space probe, which was at this time at distance of 2,715,228 km from Earth.
The last signals received by us from ARTSAT 2: DESPATCH were very weak, but clearly stood out on the waterfall diagram of the monitoring program. To avoid misinterpretation we asked for confirmation directly from the creators of the space probe: Tama Art University and The University of Tokyo. The data reported by us were analyzed, compared with the model and successfully authenticated – we have received confirmation with thanks.
Important result of our work are gigabytes of data, which were sent for further analysis to the operators of both space probes.
This result has been achieved courtesy of PIAP [www.piap.pl] which made it possible for us to use 4.5m diameter parabolic mesh dish antenna, the involvement of PIAP employees, the support of fellow amateurs, and of course the understanding families of all those involved.
In our project of monitoring signals from ARTSAT 2: DESPATCH and Shin-En2 space probes , except the antenna, we used radio amateur equipment (purchased and also of our own design), especially designed and made by us emitter which was set in place of the antenna focus, especially prepared software. Preparations of our ground station took us almost two weeks, including some hours on a roof at freezing weather conditions.
Our station operators during all of seven nights were: Piotr SP5MG, Piotr SP5ULN, Lukasz SQ5RWU and Michał SQ5KTM.
Technical support: SQ7GMO, SQ5DRC, team of a few PIAP Institute employees
Guests invited to our station: SP5XMU, SQ5NWI, SQ5AAG, and some more persons.
Ham radio spacecraft launched into deep space