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Thread: Is it true that ham radio operators bounce signals off of the moon?

  1. #1

    Default Is it true that ham radio operators bounce signals off of the moon?

    I know that lasers are bounced off of retroreflectors left on the moon, but why do that if ham radio operators have done it for years? Have they?

  2. #2

    Default

    Yes. Ham's bounce signals off the moon, it's called an EME or Moon bounce. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EME_%28communications%29 .

    The bounce off the moon uses the radio reflectivity (albedo) of the moon as a whole, but something like 90% of the energy is lost in the process. Retroreflectors are used specifically for Laser beams, not radio signals. The reasons that "they" (I assume you referring to scientists) do so is to measure the exact distance from the moon to the earth. They use it to figure out gravitation differences, all sorts of complex things like that.

    Also - EME typically isn't done in the 5Ghz range...

  3. #3

    Default

    Actually the US government at one time used moon-bounce to communicate between Hawaii and the mainland. All it takes is sufficient power, antennas, and receiver performance.

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