Bouncing Off the Moon
My latest Ham Radio adventure is building an EME station with my daughter. EME stands for "Earth Moon Earth", also known as "Moon Bounce", and the idea is that you communicate with other stations by bouncing radio signals off the moon. This is a real challenge, because the signals received are extremely weak. We are therefore motivated to pay careful attention to detail in every aspect of the station, from precision antenna pointing to careful RF systems design and construction.
A significant frustration for the Linux afficianado is that most of the available software for antenna pointing, signal processing, and contact logging in an EME station is written for Windows. The impact of digital signal processing techniques on the nature of an EME contact is a hot topic, and some of the most exciting new work is being done on Linux.
In this talk, I'll tell the whole story of building our station. This includes hard-rock digging for an antenna support, fabricating the positioning system for a recycled dish antenna from scrap and surplus, and assembling the right electronics bits. But the really interesting part of the story is my survey of available software, the choices we've made, and how I expect our station software to evolve...
Bdale currently serves as HP Linux CTO, helping to make sure Linux will work well on future HP systems. His background includes many years on both UNIX internals and embedded systems. He helped jump-start ports of Debian GNU/Linux to 5 architectures other than i386, and has served as Debian Project Leader. When Bdale isn't busy keeping his basement computer farm full of oddball systems running Linux working, he is often found tinkering with amateur radio, particularly building amateur satellites.