LO-94 Amateur Radio in Lunar Orbit

Longjiang-2 / LO-94 in Lunar Orbit

Longjiang-2 / LO-94 in Lunar Orbit

Nature carries an article about the spacecraft Longjiang-2 / Lunar-OSCAR 94 (LO-94), built by students at the Harbin Institute of Technology, that carried the first Amateur Radio communication system to operate in lunar orbit.

As a part of China’s Chang’e-4 lunar far side mission, two lunar microsatellites for low frequency radio astronomy, amateur radio and education, Longjiang-1 and Longjiang-2, were launched as secondary payloads on 20 May 2018 together with the Queqiao L2 relay satellite.

On 25 May, 2018, Longjiang-2 successfully inserted itself into a lunar elliptical orbit of 357 km × 13,704 km, and became the smallest spacecraft which entered lunar orbit with its own propulsion system. The satellite carried the first amateur radio communication system operating in lunar orbit, which is a VHF/UHF software defined radio (SDR) designed for operation with small ground stations.

This article describes and evaluates the design of the VHF/UHF radio and the waveforms used. Flight results of the VHF/UHF radio are also presented, including operation of the radio, performance analysis of downlink signals and the first lunar orbit UHF very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) experiment.

Read the article at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17272-8

Cartoon movie – Longjiang-2 / LO-94: Journey to the Moon