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Amateur Observer Receives 8 GHz Signals from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Using a one meter offset dish, a modified DB6NT LNA, a GPS locked downconverter and an SDR-14 software defined radio, Paul Marsh was able to receive signals from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). According an an updated report this Tuesday on, the MRO signal was received when MRO was 53,258,740 miles from Earth. On the SDR-14 receiver, the CNR was 24.7 dB/Hz.

AMSAT news said that MRO transmits on Deep Space Network channel 32, which is 8439.444444 MHz, which is reduced to around 8439.031 MHz by Doppler shift. The MRO has a three meter diameter dish driven by a 100-watt X-band TWTA, resulting in an ERP of approximately 4.2 megawatts.

Information on the equipment, spectrum displays of the signal and other links for more information are on the UHF-Satcom Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Web page.