Sounds from Space

 

Sounds from Interplanetary-Space-Probes

This section is dedicated to Interplanetary Space Probes. Such probes use digital transmissions and the receivers here on Earth apply digital signal processing techniques to cope with the very weak received signals resulting from the enormous distances. However quite some of these signals can be recorded in the audio frequency band and visualized because the transmission bandwidth is usually limited due to the very weak signals.

My special thanks to Paul Marsh M0EYT at www.uhf-satcom.com for getting this section started, Don Gurnett from the University of Iowa, Michael Fletcher OH2AUE, Juan Daniel Gallego, Bertrand Pinel F5PL, Naomi Kurahara JE6GXN, Yoshiro JA4BLC, Sven Grahn, Federico Manzini, Jos Heymann, Christian Schwarze, Edgar J. Kaiser DF2MZ, Iban EB3FRN, Fer Paglia IW1DTU and TU Braunschweig/IGFP/Manuel Senfft for their very interesting contributions to this collection.

Picture

Object name
#NORAD

Description

Launch
Date

Weight

Mariner-2
Mariner-Venus 1962
#00374
(1962-041A)

The Mariner 2 spacecraft was the second of a series of spacecraft used for planetary exploration in the fly-by, or non-landing, mode and the first spacecraft to successfully encounter another planet. Mariner 2 was a backup for the Mariner 1 mission which failed shortly after launch to Venus. The objective of the Mariner 2 mission was to fly by Venus and return data on the planet's atmosphere, magnetic field, charged particle environment, and mass.

Aug 27th 1962

202.8 kg

 This recording is from vinyl no. 51 which was included in the Italian Enciclopaedia L’uomo e lo spazio (The man and the space) issued 1965 by Fratelli Fabbri. Digitized and kindly provided by Federico Manzini

Cosmos 359
#04501
(1970-065A)

This mission was an attempted Venus flight, probably lander similar to the Venera 7 mission launched 5 days earlier on August 17th. The SL-6/A-2-e launcher successfully brought the spacecraft to Earth orbit and the spacecraft payload was separated from the Tyazheliy Sputnik, but the escape stage failed during firing, putting the payload into a slightly more elliptical geocentric orbit.
Since 1962 the name Cosmos was given to Soviet spacecrafts which remained in Earth orbit, regardless of whether that was their intended final destination. Typically Soviet planetary missions were initially put into an Earth parking orbit as a launch platform with a rocket engine and attached probe. The probes were then launched toward their targets with an engine burn of roughly 4 minutes. If the engine misfired or the burn was not completed, the probes would be left in Earth orbit and given a Cosmos designation. Therefore this mission was designated Cosmos 359.
The failed Venus probe in violent tumble was received on 66.2 MHz on August 22
nd 1970 at 08:17 UTC by Sven Grahn.

Aug 22nd 1970

6500 kg

Viking Lander 1
Viking-B Lander
Thomas Mutch Memorial Station
#09024
(1975-075C)

The Viking 1 spacecraft consisted of an orbiter and a lander. After orbiting Mars and returning images used for landing site selection, the orbiter and lander detached and on July 20th 1976 the Viking 1 Lander was the first vessel from Earth which landed and explored the red Martian terrain. The orbiter continued imaging and conducted other scientific operations from orbit while the lander deployed instruments on the surface. Viking 1's Lander continued to explore the surface of Mars, providing a huge amount of raw data on the planet and its composition, for more than 6 years before it finally stopped functioning on August 17th 1980.

Aug 20th 1975

572 kg

This recording of the touchdown of the Viking-1 lander on the surface of Mars is part of the compilation "The Conquest of Space" of the Astronautical Society of Western Australia and kindly provided by Jos Heymann.

This recording of the picture transmission of Viking 1 was published in 1997 on a tape cassette by the JPL Amateur Radio Club. Kindly digitized by Christian Schwarze.

 

Voyager-2
Mariner
Jupiter/Saturn B
#10271
(1977-076A)

Voyager 2 was one of a pair of spacecraft launched to explore the planets of the outer solar system and the interplanetary environment. Each Voyager had as its major objectives at each planet to: (1) investigate the circulation, dynamics, structure, and composition of the planet's atmosphere; (2) characterize the morphology, geology, and physical state of the satellites of the planet; (3) provide improved values for the mass, size, and shape of the planet, its satellites, and any rings; and, (4) determine the magnetic field structure and characterize the composition and distribution of energetic trapped particles and plasma therein.

Aug 20th 1977

722 kg

NASA placed on both spacecrafts Voyager 1 and 2 a disk which contains messages to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials. The Voyager messages are carried by a phonograph record. The 12-inch gold-plated copper disk contains 115 images and a variety of natural sounds to demonstrate the diversity of life and culture on Earth. Enclosed please find some of the sounds.
birds:
chimpanzee: f-111 fire: first: herding: horse: kiss: morse: tame dog: volcanoes: wind:

Jovian Electron Cyclotron Emissions recorded by Voyager-2 PWS (plasma wave sensor): Jovian electron cyclotron emissions are intense narrow-banded emissions, generated by energetic electrons spiraling along the magnetic field lines of Jupiter and its magnetized moons. The frequency bands of the electron cyclotron emissions occur at harmonics or very precise multiples of the electron cyclotron frequency, a characteristic frequency of the plasma surrounding the planet. The frequencies of the electron cyclotron emission bands track the variations in the electron cyclotron frequency, which varies with the strength of the magnetic field. The resulting tones are high- pitched monotones which move up and down in frequency scale on time scales of seconds to tens of seconds. Provided by Don Gurnett. Courtesy of NASA and the University of Iowa.

Voyager-1
Mariner
Jupiter/Saturn A
#10321
(1977-084A)

Voyager-1 was launched only 2 weeks after Voyager-2. Both provided communications through a high-gain antenna with a low-gain antenna for backup. The high-gain antenna supported both X-band (approx. 8420 MHz) and S-band downlink telemetry.

Sep 5th 1977

722 kg

On January 25th 2010 12:55 UTC Juan Daniel Gallego was able to use the 40m dish antenna of OAN in Yebes, Spain to receive Voyager 1 using a Perseus Software Defined receiver. At the time of reception Voyager was 16.9 billion km away which is about  3.5 times the distance between Earth and Pluto! After converting the 8.4 GHz signal down to about 3.5 MHz the beacon signal was finally demodulated using CW detection of the Perseus SDR receiver with an IF filter BW of 200 Hz. A description of the setup can be found when clicking on the icon of the dish antenna. The audio recordings below are in non compressed wav format and thus each 3 MBytes large. This allows you to analyze the audio with an FFT program like Spectrum lab in case you are interested. A spectrum capture can be seen by clicking on the icon on the right.
In the first recording you can hear the carrier of the beacon. The signal is approx. 5 dB below noise level but can be perceived by a trained (ham) ear.
In the second recording the local oscillator of the receiver is switched 50 Hz up and down in periods of a few seconds. This makes it much easier to perceive the signal by the change in pitch even by untrained ears.
Finally the third audio files contains the same signal from the beacon (no freq. switching) but compressed in time by a factor of 50 and repeated 4 times. This makes easier to appreciate the change in the Doppler shift.

Many thanks to Juan Daniel Gallego for kindly providing the recordings and screenshots.

Jovian Bow Shock recorded by Voyager-1 PWS (plasma wave sensor): All of the planets in the Solar System are embedded in the interplanetary medium known as the solar wind. The solar wind travels supersonically with respect to the slower planets at a speed of about one million miles per hour. And, just as a supersonic jet will create a sonic boom in the slower atmosphere of Earth, a bow shock is created in the solar wind in front of each planet.
Jupiter has a strong magnetic field that reaches out more than 3.5 million miles in front of the planet, providing a substantial obstacle to the flow of the solar wind. The bow shock forms at that surface in interplanetary space where the supersonic solar wind encounters the magnetic force of Jupiter and it acts to slow and deflect the solar wind. In the process, the energy of motion of the solar wind is converted to thermal energy at the bow shock, heating the particles behind the shock and creating rapid and turbulent particle motions that generate the plasma waves associated with the bow shock. When the Voyager spacecraft encountered the Jovian bow shock, there was a very sudden burst of intense, low-frequency emissions extending over a wide range of frequencies. These emissions are directly associated with the Jovian bow shock and are similar to the loud sound associated with a sonic boom. The shock noise signature is a sudden, loud, rumbling roar lasting more than a minute.
Provided by Don Gurnett. Courtesy of NASA and the University of Iowa.

Jovian Chorus recorded by Voyager-1 PWS (plasma wave sensor): Jovian chorus is generated in Jupiter's radiation belts by electrons spiraling along Jupiter's magnetic field lines in this region. Once generated, the chorus waves interact with the moving electrons, disturbing the spiral orbit of the electrons and causing them to fall into the Jupiter's ionosphere along the magnetic field lines at high latitudes. Chorus waves consist of a rapid succession of intense ascending tones, rising in frequency over very short time intervals, each tone lasting typically less than one second. The frequencies of these rising tones occur in the audio frequency range and sound like a dawn chorus of chirping birds, a sound which gives these waves their name. Provided by Don Gurnett. Courtesy of NASA and the University of Iowa.

Jovian upstream ion acoustic waves recorded by Voyager-1. Provided by Don Gurnett. Courtesy of NASA and the University of Iowa.

Jovian Whistlers recorded by Voyager-1 PWS (plasma wave sensor): Jovian whistler waves propagate at audio frequencies along closed field lines in Jupiter's magnetosphere. Like Earth whistlers, the higher frequency components of the Jovian whistler propagate faster than the lower frequency components, resulting in a descending tone that decreases rapidly in frequency over several seconds. The descending tone sounds like a high-pitched whistle. Also like Earth whistlers, Jovian whistlers are generated by lightning discharges in the atmosphere. The detection of Jovian whistlers by the Voyager spacecraft provided the first indirect evidence of lightning on the giant planet. Provided by Don Gurnett. Courtesy of NASA and the University of Iowa.

ISEE-3
ISEE-C
ICE
Explorer 59
#11004
1978-079A

International Sun Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) was a satellite with the mission to explore the interaction of the magnetic field of the Earth and the sun. Later it was also used to explore the comet Halley (with little results) and thus renamed to International Comet Explorer (ICE). It was designed and managed by GSFC and launched on August 12th 1978 on a Delta 2914 from ETR Launch Complex 17B. A tower elevates the telemetry antenna above the spacecraft body and provides a clear field of view for several cosmic-ray detectors. Four wire antennas (each 49 m long) are deployed in the spin plane as part of the radio-wave and plasma-wave investigations. Two axial antennas (7 m each) extend above and below the spacecraft parallel to the spin axis to render the radio-wave measurements three dimensional. ISEE-3 telecommunications system includes two redundant S-band transponders:
Transponder A (5 Watts output power):
2090.66 MHz RHCP uplink, for command or ranging
2270.40 MHz RHCP downlink, for telemetry or ranging
Transponder B (5 Watts output power):
2041.95 MHz LHCP uplink, for command
2217.50 MHz LHCP downlink, for telemetry
Transmit antenna: medium gain with dual inputs for simultaneous right and left hand circular polarization downlink, 8 rows of 4 elements, 7 dBi, ±6° beamwidth, multibeam, electronically steerable, four lobe, omni directional coverage in azimuth
Receive antenna: 2042 MHz, intermediate gain, 1 row of 4 elements, 0 dBi, ±45° beamwidth
Phase coherent ranging using f
downlink = 240/221 x fuplink 
 In 2014 ISEE-3 will pass the Earth in a rather short distance so that possibly signals from the satellite could be received if the satellite can be reactivated. Unfortunately NASA had none of the necessary equipment left. Thus some enthusiasts started to rebuild the necessary hardware and software to control the satellite. They used the huge radio astronomy dish in Arecibo and were able to switch the satellite back to operations.

Aug 12th 1978

390 kg

On June 7th 2014 at 13:11 UTC Iban EB3FRN was able to detect the signal of ISEE-3 by using automatic doppler compensation and long integration times. Enclosed plots and I/Q recording were kindly provided by Iban EB3FRN.

On July 24th 2014 at 13:55 UTC Paul M0EYT received ISEE-3 while it was 2.5 Mio km away using a 1m s-band dish on 2270.406 MHz. Enclosed spectrum plots and wterfall disgram was kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

On August 9th 2014 at 22:05 UTC Fer Paglia IW1DTU received ISEE-3 on 2270.406 MHz. Enclosed audio recording (click on left icon) of a demodulated sideband and I/Q file (click on right icon) were kindly provided by Fer IW1DTU.

Mars Global
Surveyor (MGS)
#24648
(1996-062A)

Mars Global Surveyor was launched by NASA on a Delta II rocket and arrived at Mars on September the 12th 1997. The spectrum plot was recorded on April 14th 2006 on 8422.744 MHz and was kindly provided by www.uhf-satcom.com.

Nov 7th 1996

1030 kg

Cassini
#25008
(1997-061A)

&

Huygens
(1997-061C)

The Cassini Orbiter's mission consists of delivering a probe (called Huygens, provided by ESA) to Titan and then remaining in orbit around Saturn for detailed studies of the planet and its rings and satellites. The atmospheric probe Huygens landed on Saturn's moon Titan.

Oct 15th 1997

Cassini:
2523 kg

Huygens:
319 kg

This recording is a laboratory reconstruction of the sounds heard by Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument (HASI), which includes an acoustic sensor. Several sound samples, taken at different times during the descent, are here combined together and give a realistic reproduction of what a traveller on board Huygens would have heard during one minute of the descent through Titan's atmosphere on Jan 14th 2005. Source: ESA

This recording was done on July 25th 2004. Time on this recording has been compressed such that 13 seconds corresponds to 27 seconds. Since the frequencies of these emissions are well above the audio frequency range, they were shifted downward by a factor of 260. Source: NASA

Stardust/NExT
#25618
(1999-003A)

The primary objective of the Discovery class Stardust mission was to fly by the comet P/Wild 2 and collect samples of dust and volatiles from the coma of the comet and then bring them back to Earth. This was fully accomplished and furthermore the mission was extended to a flyby of comet Tempel 1. Thus the name of the mission was also extended to The New Exploration of Tempel 1 (NExT). Also this part of the mission was successful.

Feb 7th 1999

300 kg

Enclosed sounds were recorded on February 14th 2011 when Stardust flew through a cloud of debris surrounding comet Tempel 1 and such particles hi an instrument on the protective shield of Stardust. Link kindly provided by Christian Schwarze. Recording is a courtesy of NASA/JPL.

2000 Cluster 2
FM6
Salsa
#26411
(2000-041B)

The Cluster II spacecraft, FM6 (Salsa), was launched together with FM7 (Samba). The four similar spacecraft of the Cluster II mission are part of ESA's and NASA's Solar-Terrestrial Science Program (STSP).

Jul 16th 2000

550 kg

Earth AKR (Auroral Kilometric Radiation) recorded in stereo by the Cluster 2 spacecraft. The four Cluster II WBD (wideband) instruments were designed and built at The University of Iowa through funding provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Provided by Don Gurnett. Courtesy of NASA and the University of Iowa.

Earth whistlers recorded in stereo by the Cluster 2 spacecraft. The aim of the Cluster mission is to study small-scale structures of the magentosphere and its environment in three dimensions. To achieve this, Cluster is constituted of four identical spacecrafts which fly in a tetrahedral configuration. Provided by Don Gurnett. Courtesy of NASA and the University of Iowa.

2001
Mars Odyssey
#26734
(2001-014A)

2001 Mars Odyssey was launched on a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral. The spectrum plot was recorded on April 11th 2006 and was kindly provided by www.uhf-satcom.com.

Apr 7th 2001

725 kg

Hayabusa
Muses-C
#27809
(2003-019C)

The primary scientific objective of the Hayabusa (Muses-C) mission is to collect a surface sample of material from the small (550 x 180 meter) asteroid 25143 Itokawa (1998 SF36) and return the sample to Earth for analysis. Communications are via X- and S-band low gain antennas and the high gain dish antenna (X-band) with a transmitted power of 20 W. Two solar panel wings with a total array area of 12 square meters protrude from the side and a 1.5 m diameter high-gain parabolic antenna is mounted on top of the aircraft. On June 8th 2010 at 20:16 UTC the X-band downlink signal (8408.217 MHz) of Hayabusa was received by F5PL. The recording was kindly provided by Bertrand F5PL.

May 9th 2003

415 kg

After a 7 years mission Hayabusa returned to Earth's and burned up during re-entry in its atmosphere over Australia on June 13th 2010 around 14:00 UTC. Three hours before re-entry the return capsule was successfully ejected and landed in the Woomera prohibited area in the Australian outback where it was retrieved on June 14th 2010.

Mars Express
#27816
(2003-022A)

Mars Express was launched by the European Space Agency on a Soyuz-Fregat from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It included a lander called Beagle 2.

It features the following communication downlinks:
X-band: 8420.43207 MHz (61.27 dBW)
S-band: 2296.481481 MHz (37.53dBW)

The used high gain antenna is a 1.6m centered parabolish dish which provides 39.3 dBi gain at X-band and 27.3 dBi at S-band.

The sound file as well as the spectrum plot were recorded on April 11th 2006 and were kindly provided by www.uhf-satcom.com.

Jun 2nd 2003

1120 kg

Spitzer Space
Telescope
#27871
(2003-038A)

Launched by NASA on a Delta rocket from Cape Canaveral. It is a space-borne, cryogenically-cooled infrared observatory capable of studying objects ranging from our Solar System to the distant reaches of the Universe. The spectrum plot was recorded at 8413.626490 MHz on April 23rd 2006 and was kindly provided by www.uhf-satcom.com.

Aug 25th 2003

950 kg

Rosetta
#28169
(2004-006A)

Rosetta is is en-route to Comet 67 P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko. It transmits on 8421.790123 MHz. The spectrum plot was recorded on May 4th 2006 and was kindly provided by www.uhf-satcom.com.

Mar 2nd 2004

810 kg

Michael OH2AUE built an 8.4 GHz receiver from junk and received Rosetta using his club station 4 m dish. He webcasted the event, a video of the shack and the BPSK carrier audio to other interested people. The enclosed audio recording was kindly provided by Michael Fletcher OH2AUE.

Paul M0EYT received Rosetta at 8421.112 MHz on August 29th 2010 at 14:00 UTC when it was 361 million miles or 32.3 minutes light time away. You cannot really hear the signal in the audio file enclosed but if you run an fft over time (see the picture) you can clearly identify the carrier including its doppler shift. Recording kindly provided by www.uhf-satcom.com.

Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium (RPC) has uncovered oscillations in the magnetic field in the environment of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It is like a song at 40-50 millihertz, far below human hearing, which typically picks up sound between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. To make the music audible to the human ear, the frequencies have been increased by Manuel Senfft in this recording also called "A Singing Comet". Recording kindly provided by "TU Braunschweig / IGFP / Manuel Senfft".

Paul M0EYT received Rosetta on September 30th 2016 at 11:19h UTC when it intentionally was crashed on the surface of comet 67P/Tschurjumov-Gerassimenko. At that time the comet was at a distance of 720 Mio km from Earth. Paul received Rosetta at 8421.42217 MHz. Spectrum plot kindly provided by www.uhf-satcom.com.

Mars
Reconnaissance
Orbiter (MRO)
#28788
(2005-029A)

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was launched by NASA on an Atlas V-401 from Cape Canaveral. MRO arrived at Mars on March 10th 2006. The sound file as well as the spectrum plot were recorded on December 20th 2005 when the spacecraft was 53258740 miles away from Earth. They were kindly provided by www.uhf-satcom.com.

Aug 12th 2005

2180 kg

Venus Express
#28901
(2005-045A)

Venus Express was launched by the European Space Agency on a Soyuz-Fregat from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It transmits a tracking / telemetry beacon on DSN channel 17 which is 8419.074074 MHz. The data enclosed was recorded when the probe was 4.17 million miles away. Record and spectrum plot were kindly provided by www.uhf-satcom.com.

Nov 9th 2005

1270 kg

On January 25th 2010 11:10 UTC Juan Daniel Gallego was able to use the 40m dish antenna of OAN in Yebes, Spain to receive Venus Express using a Perseus Software Defined receiver. At the time of reception Venus Express was 256 million km away ! After converting the 8.4 GHz signal down to about 3.1 MHz the beacon signal was finally demodulated using USB detection of the Perseus SDR receiver with an IF filter BW of 2.4 kHz. A description of the setup can be found when clicking on the icon of the dish antenna.

In the first recording you can hear the carrier of the beacon (changing pitch over time due to doppler effect).

In the second recording the upper sideband of the signal carrying the downlink data was demodulated.

Many thanks to Juan Daniel Gallego for kindly providing the recordings and screenshots.

New Horizons
Pluto Charon
#28928
(2006-001A)

New Horizons Pluto Charon was launched by NASA on an Atlas V from Cape Canaveral and is en-route to Pluto. It transmits on 8437.894737 MHz and 8438.181818 MHz. The spectrum plot was recorded on April 12th 2006 when it was 64509465 miles away from earth. It was kindly provided by www.uhf-satcom.com.

Jan 19th 2006

393 kg

Stereo A
#29510
(2006-047A)

Stereo A & B (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) were jointly launched by NASA aboard a single Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral. On the picture to the left you can see them both while getting assembled in the fairing. They are providing 3D images of the sun.

Oct 25th 2006

642 kg

Stereo A is lagging Stereo B and transmits on 8443.5185 MHz. The audio recording and the spectrum plot were kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT from www.uhf-satcom.com.

This signal of Stereo A while being much further away from Earth and thus much weaker was recorded on September 1st 2010 by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

Stereo B
#29511
(2006-047B)

Stereo A & B (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) were jointly launched by NASA and are providing 3D images of the sun by observing the sun from different positions / angles. They are both in a heliocentric orbit. The date downlink rate is 720 kBit/sec.

Oct 25th 2006

642 kg

Stereo B is leading Stereo A and transmits on 8446.2345 MHz. The audio recording and the spectrum plot were kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT from www.uhf-satcom.com.

DAWN
#32249
(2007-043A)

Dawn is a mission designed to rendezvous and orbit the asteroids 4 Vesta and 1 Ceres. The scientific objectives of the mission are to characterize the asteroids' internal structure, density, shape, size, composition and mass and to return data on surface morphology, cratering, and magnetism. Uplink data rates range from 7.8 b/s to 2.0 kb/s and downlink rates from 10 b/s to 124 kb/s.

Sept 27th 2007

725 kg

On May 7th 2015 az 07:26 UTC Paul M0EYT received the DAWN downlink on 8435.9723 MHz. At this time DAWN had a distance to Earth of 384308500km. The audio recording and the spectrum plot were kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT from www.uhf-satcom.com.



Kepler
Discovery 10
#34380
(2009-011A)

NASA's Kepler Mission is to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone and determine how many of the billions of stars in our galaxy have such planets. It includes a 0.95m aperture differential photometer with a 105° FOV. Kepler was launched on March 6th 2009 from Cape Canaveral/Florida on a Delta rocket into an Earth-trailing heliocentric orbit.

Mar 6th 2009

1000 kg

Kepler uses the following communication links:
- Uplink X-band: 7.8125 bps up to 2 kbps
- Downlink X-band: 10 bps up to 16 kbps, antenna gain is 6.5dB, transmit power is 14dBW, activated twice a week for commanding, health and status.
- Downlink Ka-band: up to 4.33125 Mbps, antenna gain is 46.6dB, transmit power is 14dBW, activated once a month for science data download.

The X-band downlink was received by Paul Marsh on March 8th 2009. The FFT was received in a 5KHz b/w of the 8424.476 MHz downlink at 19:18 UTC on March 8th 2009.

The Ka-band downlink was received by Paul Marsh on April 29th 2009 who had put together a 32GHz down converter from commonly available parts and then used a SDR-14 FFT receiver from RF-Space.
The first FFT was received in a 5KHz b/w of the 32166.1711 MHz downlink at 19:41UTC on April 29th 2009 while the space-probe was about 3226045 Miles away from Earth.
The second FFT was received in a 3KHz b/w of the 32166.1653 MHz downlink at 21:27UTC on April 29th 2009 while the space-probe was about 3226445 Miles away from Earth.
Note: The FFT shows the drift due to doppler shift and a slight wobble in the carrier which is caused by Paul's receiver: the GPS reference oscillators 10MHz output is being multiplied 3420 times to generate the 34.2GHz local oscillator. Therefore a very slight wobble in the GPS control loop is strongly amplified.



Herschel
(FIRST)
 #34937
(2009-026A)

Herschel Space Observatory carries the largest space telescope ever launched before. Herschel was launched together with Planck on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou / French Guiana. From a point in space called the 2nd Lagrangian Point (or L2), its 3.5-m diameter mirror will collect long-wavelength infrared radiation from some of the coolest and most distant objects in the Universe.

May 14th 2009

3300kg

On May 15th 2009 the distance from Herschel to the Earth was only ~170,000 Miles. Signals from Herschel were received at 8468.454MHz on May 15th 2009 at 22:25 UTC by Paul Marsh M0YET. The first FFT plot shows the tail end of a coherent locking cycle. On the second plot sidebands carrying data can clearly be seen. Waterfall diagrams kindly provided by Paul M0YET.

Paul Marsh received Herschel again on May 2nd 2013 at 22:53 UTC on 8468.469 MHz. Waterfall diagrams kindly provided by Paul M0YET.

The Herschel astronomical observatory satellite was closed down on April 29th 2013 as the last liquid helium for the cooling system evaporated.



Planck
#34938
(2009-026B)

Planck was launched together with Herschel on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou / French Guiana. In the lower picture on the left you can see it is located below Herschel. The Planck satellite will observe the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB). This is the radiation released into the Universe by the Big Bang about 14 thousand million years ago.
Planck carries a telescope with an effective aperture of 1.5 m that feeds microwave radiation to two instruments:
1.) High Frequency Instrument (HFI) which is an array of 52 bolometric detectors and will image the sky at six frequencies between 100 GHz and 857 GHz.
2.) Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) which is an array of 22 tuned radio receivers and images the sky at three frequencies between 30 GHz and 70 GHz.

May 14th 2009

1800 kg

Downlink frequency was 8468.454MHz. The FFT's below are from the IF frequency, simply add 8GHz to get the receive frequency. The distance to the probe was only ~170,000 Miles.

The first FFT shows the tail end of a coherent locking cycle.

In the second FFT plot the data sidebands can be seen.

Signals received on May 15th 2009 at 22:04 UTC by Paul Marsh M0YET.

Paul M0EYT received Planck again on October 21st 2013, two days before Planck was planned to be shutdown. Enclosed spectrum plots and recording were kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

 

Venus Climate
Orbiter (VCO)
PLANET-C
AKATSUKI
#36576
(2010-020D)

PLANET-C is Japan's first Venus probe, designed to study the dynamics of the atmosphere and to establish the meteorology of Venus. Venus Climate Orbiter will be built and launched by JAXA into an elliptical orbit around Venus with a period of 30 hours. The target launch date is May 17th 2010 from JAXA Tanegashima Space Centre in Japan. Venus' surface is invisible under a thick layer of sulfuric acid clouds and thus Planet-C will image Venus at different wavelengths (lightning and airglow in visible light, cloud temperature map in mid-infrared, chemical composition at cloud top in ultraviolet, ground surface in near-infrared, and lower atmosphere in near-infrared). It will also include an ultra-stable oscillator for radio science experiments. Together with Planet-C as the primary payload there will be 5 secondary payloads launched: IKAROS, UNISEC-1 and deployed together in a J_POD module WASEDA-SAT2, KSAT and Negai*.
260214 people around the world did participate in the "AKATSUKI message campaign" and registered their names to be printed on a special aluminium plate attached to the aircraft. The confirmation image I received can be seen when clicking on the icon to the right.

May 20th 2010

500 kg

On May 22nd 2010 Bertrand Pinel F5PL received Planet-C on 8410.8039 MHz with a . Recording and spectrum plot kindly provided by Bertrand F5PL.

IKAROS
#36577
(2010-020E)

IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) was launched by JAXA together with PLANET-C and four other secondary payloads. This solar space kite satellite is also heading towards Venus and is expected to enter Venus' orbit after the 6 month journey. IKAROS is the first fuel-free, solar-powered sail craft to enter deep space “employing both photon propulsion and thin film solar power generation” during its flight. The sail of the IKAROS is a square membrane with a diagonal distance of 20 meters and only 0.0075 mm thin. Paul Marsh received IKAROS on May 23rd 2010 on 8431.1752 MHz. Enclosed please see the spectrum plots he made.

May 20th 2010

315 kg

On May 25th 2010 around 20:20 UTC also Bertrand F5PL received IKAROS at 8431.171 MHz (DSN channel number 26) with a Signal strength of about +2 dB @2000 Hz BW. You can hear the signal in enclosed audio recording. His antenna is an automated 10 foot dish with a cassegrain feed and an LNA with 0.5 dB NF. Bertrand suspects a problem with the frequency stability of the transmitter of IKAROS. It is wobbling with a period of about 2 secs as you can see in enclosed frequency spectrum plots which Bertrand F5PL kindly provided.

On May 28th 2010 at 20:46 and 21:30 UTC Bertrand received IKAROS again and made enclosed specturm plots. At this time IKAROS was using its omni antenna and its RF power was 7 W. The wobble frequency of the transmitter changed to about 4.2 secs and his new theory is that it is related to the spin frequency of the probe. Thanks to F5PL for kindly providing the recordings and plots.

Despite of the increasing distance of IKAROS from Earth Bertrand received the probe also on June 4th 2010 and provided enclosed very nice spectrum plot. It shows the wobbling of the signal very clearly. Thanks to F5PL for kindly providing the plots.

Bertrand Pinel F5PL and Jean-Jacques Maintoux F1EHN prepared enclosed very nice analysis of the wobbling downlink signal of IKAROS. Many thanks to F5PL for providing this document.

On June 15th 2010, IKAROS released a spring-loaded detachable camera module, a cylinder about six centimeters in diameter, which snapped a series of pictures of the deployed 14-by-14 meter solar sail of the larger craft as it drifted away (see pictures to the left).

UNITEC-1
#36578
(2010-020F)

UNITEC-1 (UNISEC Technology Experiment Carrier -1) is the world's first deep space satellite jointly developed by more than 20 universities. UNISEC stands for University Space Engineering Consortium. UNITEC-1 was launched together with PLANET-C and four other secondary payloads towards Venus. UNITEC-1 will be the last satellite to separate from the H-IIA F17 launcher. One of the 3 missions of this nanosatellite is to provide the amateur radio community a challenge to receive faint deep space signals. Unitec-1 will transmit at 5840.000 MHz using the callsign JQ1ZUN. Its transmit power is 4.8W per each of the two microstrip patch antennas, thus in total 9.6W. The satellite's downlink schedule is a 6 hour cycle with mainly pauses and the following transmissions:
96% of TX time: CW in 1bps
4% of TX time: AFSK/FM 1200bps packet radio
Six universities are running experiments on UNITEC-1 which provide the payload data of the AFSK transmission. The transmission format is specified as "10M0F2D" and the bandwidth will be 20 MHz.

May 20th 2010

15 kg

Before UNITEC-1 was launched the communication system was tested. Enclosed audio file of the CW test transmission was recorded on May 9th 2010. The second audio file documents an FSK test transmission and was recorded on May 10th 2010. The recordings were kindly provided by UNISEC. Special thanks to Naomi Kurahara JE6GXN.

After the successful launch on May 21st 2010 first CW and FSK signals were received on 5839.91 MHz during the first pass over Japan around 16:15h JST. Unfortunately soon after the transmitter of Unitec-1 stopped working. The recordings were kindly provided by UNISEC. Special thanks to Naomi Kurahara JE6GXN.

On May 21th 2010 JA4BLC copied the signal of Unitec-1 at 15:41:49 UTC for 15 seconds. The frequency was 5839.905 MHz. He used a 6m parabolic dish (10mm mesh) with a modified W2IMU horn. Enclosed audio file and spectrum plot was kindly provided by Yoshiro JA4BLC.

JUNO
New Frontiers 2
#37773
(2011-040A)

JUNO (JUpiter Near-polar Orbiter) was built by NASA and launched on an Atlas V551 (AV-029) from Cape Canaveral to its 5 years journey to Jupiter. Starting 2016 it will orbit Jupiter 33 times during one Earth year before its mission will end with a de-orbit into Jupiter.
Juno is expected to give scientists a never-before-seen look behind Jupiter's clouds
JUNO carries a X-band (8.404 GHz) and Ka-band (32.083 GHz) communication links with multiple antennas (LGA fore, LGA aft, LGA totoidal MGA, HGA). RF power at X-Band is 14 dBW and at Ka-Band its 4 dBW.

Aug. 5th
2011

1500 kg

On August 9th 2011 around 07:50 UTC Paul M0EYT received Juno while it was already 1.1 Mio km away from Earth. You have to add 8 GHz to the frequency displayed in enclosed spectrum plot to get the actual receive frequency. The audio file is from the same recording. Both were kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

On May 10th 2013 at 20:46 UTC Paul M0EYT received Juno and recorded enclosed spectrum plot. At that time Juno was 4.45 minutes light time away from Earth. Spectrum plot kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

On October 9th JUNO made a flyby of Earth and came very close (approx 500km). Two days before, on June 7th 2013 at 14:59 UTC, Paul M0EYT recorded it on 8404.423 MHz. The signal was already very strong as can be heard on enclosed recording and seen on the associated spectrum plot. Both were kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

 

Phobos-Grunt
Fobos-Grunt
PHOBOS-GR
#37872
(2011-065A) 

Phobos-Grunt is a Russian mission designed to land on the martian moon Phobos and return a sample to Earth. It was launched on November 8th 2011 at 20:16 UTC on a Zenit 2SB41.1 rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan into an elliptical Earth orbit. Unfortunately the spacecraft did not perform its scheduled burn to leave the Earth orbit and begin its trajectory to Mars.
The downlink frequencies are:
8414.6328 MHz of the transfer module
8428.7316 MHz of the return module

 Nov. 8th
2011

 730 kg

 

Mars Sciency Laboratory
MSL
Curiosity
#37936
(2011-070A)  

 

The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) was launched on an ATLAS V (541) from Cape Canaveral USA. The main part of MSL is a large rover nicknamed Curiosity with the objective of exploring the martian environment as a former or current habitat for life. The mission is planned to operate on Mars over at least a full martian year (687 Earth days). The Mars rover is powered by nuclear energy. Curiosity reached Mars after an 8 month journey and landed successfully on August 7th 2012 at 05:32 GMT.

Here is the x-band downlink information of MSL:
Downlink frequency: 8401.419752 MHz
Transmit power: 69.2 dBm
Ground G/T Required 54.7 dB/K
Downlink Data Rate: 2000 bps (rates range from 10 bps – 62.5 kbps)
Polarization = RHCP
Subcarrier: 24999.94 Hz
Subcarrier Type: Square wave
Modulation Format: PCM/PSK/PM
Cording Format: Turbo 1/3
Symbol Rate: 6000 sps
Modulation Index: 72 deg 
MSL is using a public protocoll called CCSDS Proximity-1 The UHF downlinks are possibly the following frequencies: 437.100 MHz, 440.7425 MHz, 444.3850 MHz, 448.0275 MHz).

Nov. 26th
2011

750 kg

In 2010, during the construction of MSL, NASA asked for participation by sending the name to them. After submission the participant received a certificate with a unique number. All names of the 1.2 Mio participants were etched on a microchip that the Curiosity rover carries on its "back" (its "deck"). If you click on the little icon to the right you can see my certificate.

The X-Band signal from MSL was recorded on November 26th 2011 at 23:58 UTC by Paul M0EYT. Spectrum plots kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

While no human ‘heard’ NASA's Curiosity arrive at Mars on August 7th 2012 at 05:32 GMT, the radio signals transmitted by MSL during its descent were received and recorded by Mars Express orbiting Mars. The signal has been processed and shifted into human-audible frequencies. Enclosed audio recording and spectrum plot courtesy of ESA.

Mars Orbiter Mission
MOM
Mangalyaan
39370 
(2013-060A)

Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan, is India's (ISRO) first interplanetary mission to Mars. It is designed to orbit Mars in an elliptical orbit (366km x 80000km, 150° inclination). It left Earth orbit and headed for Mars on December 1st 2013. After a 300-day cruise an orbital insertion burn on September 24th 2014 put MOM in an elliptical 76.7 hr Mars orbit. The Mission is primarily a technological mission considering the critical mission operations and stringent requirements on propulsion and other bus systems of the spacecraft. Communications are via a 2.2 m S-band high gain antenna, a medium gain antenna, and a low gain antenna. ITU published the following S-band downlink frequencies: 2217.120 MHz, 2222.290 MHz, 2230.800 MHz, 2292.960 MHz, 2296.000 MHz and 2298.480 MHz.

Nov. 5th
2013

488 kg

The S-Band signals from MOM on 2298.516 MHz and 2292.980 MHz were received on November 9th 2013 at 17:36 UTC and 18:04 UTC by Paul M0EYT. Spectrum plots and recordings kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

The signal from MOM, while it was 11 Mio km away from Earth, was received at 2298.48 MHz on January 14th 2014 from 00:00 until 12:45 UTC by DF2MZ. The doppler-shift originated mainly by the Earth rotation, the frequency jumps most likely by the handover of the ground stations. Spectrum plot kindly provided by Edgar J. Kaiser DF2MZ.

Paul M0EYT received the S-Band signal from MOM on 2292.955 MHz again on February 15h 2015 at 12:07 UTC while MOM was at a distance of 325 Mio km. Spectrum plot kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

MAVEN
Mars Scout 2
39378 
(2013-063A / SSC)

The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) mission is designed to explore Mars' upper atmosphere and ionosphere, and interactions with the solar wind, specifically to determine the loss of volatile compounds to space through time and how it has affected the history of Mars' atmosphere and climate. After arriving at Mars in the fall of 2014, NASA's spacecraft MAVEN will use its propulsion system to enter an elliptical orbit ranging 90 to 3,870 miles above the planet. MAVEN transmits on 8444.800 MHz with 2 sidebands 1.023 MHz either side of the carrier.

Nov. 18th
2013

809 kg

The X-Band signal from MAVEN was received on November 19th 2013 at 08:34 UTC on 8445.606 MHz by Paul M0EYT. Spectrum plot and recording kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

Gaia
39479
(2013-074A)

Gaia (Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics) is an ambitious mission to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, in the process revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy. Gaia is a fully European mission designed, built and operated by ESA. The Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) will process the raw data to be published in the largest stellar catalogue ever made. Gaia will operate in a Lissajous-type orbit, around the L2 (Lagrangian point 2) point of the Sun-Earth system, which is located 1.5 million km from the Earth in the anti-Sun direction. The orbit is not impacted by Earth eclipses. The orbit period is about 180 days and the size of the orbit is typically 340 000 × 90 000 km. An operational lifetime of 5 years is planned. Gaia tranmits in X-band on 8465 MHz in 2 downlink modes (6.8 MHz and 10 MHz wide) and receives at 7204.8693 MHz. Up- and downlink frequencies are at a ratio of 749/880 to allow coherent ranging.

Dec. 19th
2013

1392 kg

The X-Band signal from Gaia was received on December 20th 2013 at 19:57 UTC on 8464.95 MHz by Paul M0EYT. Spectrum plot and recording kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

 Hayabusa-2
#40319
(2014-076A)

Asteroid Explorer Hayabusa-2 was launched on December 3rd 2014 at 04:22 UTC by H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 26 (H-IIA F26) on an Earth escape trajectory. It will explore Asteroid (162173) 1999 JU3 and includes a small lander robot called Mascot (Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout). Hayabusa-2 was built by JAXA , Mascot was built by DLR Germany.The expected X and Ka band downlink frequencies are:
8406.664 bw 100KHz
8421.064 bw 100KHz
8245.864 bw 7800MHz <- probably main TTC
8430.664 bw 100KHz
8445.064 bw 100KHz
31999.090 bw 100KHz
32013.480 bw 100KHz
32018.280 bw 11500KHz <- probably main Ka TTC
32023.080 bw 100KHz
32037.480 bw 100KHz
 
HGA seems to be 37dB gain at X and 47dB gain at Ka. LGA's of 7dB gain and 20dB gain are also present. Seems Ka only can use the HGA

Dec. 3rd
2014

600 kg

The X-Band signal from Hayabusa-2 was received on December 7th 2014 at 23:08 UTC on 8425.864198 MHz by Paul M0EYT. At the time of reception the distance from Hayabusa-2 to Earth was 1.938 Mio. km. Spectrum plot and recording kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

DSCOVR
#40390
(2015-007A)

Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) provides real-time solar wind monitoring capabilities which are critical to the accuracy and lead time of NOAA's space weather alerts and forecasts. Without timely and accurate warnings, space weather events like the geomagnetic storms caused by changes in solar wind have the potential to disrupt nearly every major public infrastructure system, including power grids, telecommunications, aviation and GPS. It operates at the Lagrange-1, or L1 (the neutral gravity point between the Sun and the Earth). It was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Feb. 11th
2015

570 kg

DSCOVR was first received by Edgar Kaiser DF2MZ on February 13th 2015 at 10:30 UTC. He found the downlink signal on 2214.990 MHz while DSCOVR was at a distance of approx. 450000 km on its way to L1. Waterfall plot and audio recording kindly provided by Edgar DF2MZ.

Also M0EYT received DSCOVR on February 13th 2015 at 14:46 UTC. Audio recording kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

OSIRIS-REx
#OSIRISREX
(2016-055A)

The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) is a asteroid study and sample return mission. The satellite launched by NASA is to study asteroid 101955 Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid, and in 2023 to return a sample to Earth for detailed analysis. The material returned is expected to enable scientists to learn more about the formation and evolution of the Solar System, its initial stages of planet formation, and the source of organic compounds that led to the formation of life on Earth. If successful, OSIRIS-REx will be the first US spacecraft to return samples from an asteroid.

Sept. 8th
2016

1529 kg

M0EYT received OSIRIS-REx on September 9th 2016 and made enclosed screenshots of the spectrum.
The first spectrum was recorded on September 9th 2016 at 08:17 UTC. The spacecraft was at a distance of 192500 km and the signal at 8.44559757 GHz was very strong.
The second spectrum was recorded on September 9th 2016 at 08:43 UTC. The signal at 8.44559753 GHz shows clearly the ranging tones.
This audio recording of the carrier on 8.445597200 GHz was recorded on September 9th 2016 at 09:14 UTC.
Spectrum plots kindly provided by Paul Marsh M0EYT.

Picture

Object name
#NORAD

Description

Launch
Date

Weight

If you have further sound tracks from space objects please let me know. I will be happy to post them here on my homepage. Many thanks in advance.

Vy 55 & 73 de Matthias DD1US               


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