NavSpaSur Lunar Imaging by DF6NM

March 25, 2009 | Amateur Radio, Astronomy, Link of the Day | By: Mark VandeWettering

While recovering from my brief outpatient procedure yesterday, I was surfing around, looking for the ChirpHell and ChirpPix programs that some people mentioned in the context of creating the Hellschreiber IDs that I saw yesterday. A bit of Googling revealed that they were written by DF6NM, so I did some more websearching, and as soon as I found this page:

NavSpaSur Lunar Imaging by DF6NM

I forgot entirely about ChirpPix. This page is all about using the reflections from the NavSpaSpur radar fence to generate actual pictures of the moon. Very, very neat. I should think about this, it seems like a very nifty project.

He also seems to have done some interesting work in the LF spectrum.

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Comment from Alan Yates
Time 3/25/2009 at 11:52 pm

That’s amazing work.

I knew there were powerful CW radars out there, like the Graves, but I didn’t know about the fence system that would allow such relatively simple bistatic imaging. Damn, I need a new hobby like a hole in the head, but radio astronomy using someone else’s illuminator sounds like an interesting challenge!

I also enjoyed reading about DF6NM’s colour-coded azimuth LF grabber work. That would be interesting to try at 30 metres some time (but complicated by skywave arrival angles I’d imagine?). I really need to try more RX stuff with QRSS. Unfortunately my location is QRM city, but that in itself is just another challenge to overcome.

What the QRSS grabber network really needs is better software for data visualisation. Screen-shotting a win32 app’ periodically is a horrible hack. To do it properly it should be a custom app that puts the FFT bin data into a DB by session and operator so it can be scrolled through, auto-correlated and otherwise tortured at leisure. Your software seems to 80% of the way there already… I admit it is something I’ve been thinking about doing, with a nice applet or something for casual data viewing, but also a simple API to extract bin data for analysis.

Of course getting someone to supply the bandwidth and storage for a centralised system might be a bit of a challenge. Even locally at just a few grabbers it would be an enormous improvement.

Comment from Scott
Time 4/9/2009 at 11:20 am

I was really impressed by the ‘radar map’ of the moon next to the photo of the same. Especially considering the great distance from the “illuminator” to the receiver. WOW !

Comment from Tom, K7THU
Time 8/14/2009 at 10:51 am

Not being very skilled at Math, does anyone post a current table of times when the Moon actually crosses the beamwidth of NavSpaSur/spacefence?

I recently, due to the presence on of a Perseid radio reflections link began monitoring the Lake Kickapoo frequency, 216.98MHz for reflections from down here in the “hole” that South Weber, UT is in. Just a Radio Shack discone and an Icom R7100, no preamp yet, and heard several Perseid meteors and some other strange “beeps and squeaks”.

Heard a strange slow Doppler shifted signal @ 06:56Z 14 Aug 09 (yesterday in MDT) plus and minus about a minute that had a strange woo-woo warbling modulation on top of the normal doppler shift. It Dopplered up in frequency slowly about 7-10 kHz before I lost it?

Any ideas what I heard??

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