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Signal Bounced from ISS Heard Across the Atlantic

06/01/2016

[UPDATED 2016-06-01@1955 UTC] A 2 meter signal from the UK, reflected off the structure of the International Space Station (ISS) on May 2, was heard across the Atlantic. Following 2 weeks of preparation, Tim Fern, G4LOH, in Cornwall (IO70jc) and Roger Sturtevant, VE1SKY, in Nova Scotia (FN74iu) attempted a FSK441 contact.

Employing AMSAT satellite software, both stations aimed at the calculated grid HO11nl for a 144.175 MHz contact attempt with a mutual window of less than 1 minute. VE1SKY was able to copy G4LOH at a distance of 4441 kilometers (approximately 2753 miles). This was the first signal received via ISS bounce from Europe to North America, and the first intentional signal heard via ISS reflection in any direction across the North or South Atlantic.

The reception is being verified as a possible DX record for satellite reflection.

Transmitting in CW, Fern, operating as GK4LOH, has since been received twice in the much-closer GN37 grid by VO1HP at VO1FN in Newfoundland.

In 2014, RSGB VHF Manager John Regnault, G4SWX, received a 2 meter signal from VC1T, where a team, was trying to win the Brendan Trophy for the first transatlantic contact on 144 MHz. Upon investigation, it was determined that the VC1T FSK441 signal that G4SWX heard had also bounced off the ISS rather than via terrestrial propagation and would not qualify for the Brendan Trophy, offered by the Irish Radio Transmitters Society (IRTS).The Brendan Trophy will recognize the first “traditional mode” two-way contact (ie, SSB or CW) capable of being copied without machine assistance.

The Brendan Trophy will recognize the first “traditional mode” two-way contact (ie, SSB or CW) capable of being copied without machine assistance. 



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