Thursday, October 24, 2013

Saying HI to Juno

Artist's conception of Juno orbiting Jupiter (NASA image)
Hams around the world joined forces on October 9 to collectively say "HI" -- in Morse code -- to the Juno spacecraft as it swung around the Earth for a gravity-assisted boost on its journey to study natural radio signals from Jupiter.

The ARRL Letter reported that hams were asked to spread out across the 10-meter band and to transmit "HI" in very slow-speed Morse (1/25 of a word per minute) on a precise time schedule over a 2-1/2 hour period. The goal was to see if the spacecraft would be able to detect the signals within its receiver's 1-MHz bandwidth. Principal Engineer Don Kirchner, KD0L, said preliminary indications were that "we had very large and enthusiastic participation."