MOON ECHO PROJECT (part 3): ECHO EXPERIMENT AT VERY HIGH DEGRADE OF -11.3 dB
(June 3, 2015)
This morning I got up at 3am in order to continue the Moon Echo experiment and take Echo measurements while the degrade factor was extremely high (-11.3 dB). Earlier in the evening, I had setup the equipment and pre-positioned the RX antenna (13-element RPOL LFA) in the backyard so when I would get up, the experiment would be ready to go.
When I pre-positioned the antenna, the relative noise floor was at ~17.5 dB per MAP65 (cold sky). When I got up 5 hours later to start the experiment, the noise had raised to 21.5 dB! That was to be expected since the Moon was bringing with her the very noisy "Sagittarius A", which is the main cause of this massive Galactic noise increase and the very high degrade conditions.
When I got into the radio room and saw this massive noise level, my first reaction was: "there is NO WAY in the world" that I will be able to generate any recordable Echos considering these extremely poor conditions and the relative small size of the TX/RX setup used for this experiment. I thought about going right back to bed, but I decided to give it a shot just in case. Once again, mother nature had different plans...
I started taking Echo measurements at TX= 0 degree, no results. Then moved to 45 degrees, and then 90 degrees, still nothing... At that point, there was no doubt in my mind that I would never see anything with such high noise level. When I finally rotated the 2X14 RPOL to 135 degrees, some Echo traces started appearing on the screen, what a shock! Once again, all this without the help of any Ground Gain and using a Single Yagi 13-element RPOL LFA as RX antenna. See video of Echo traces obtained at 10:37 UTC (3:37am local time).
The traces obtained were clearly much weaker than the ones obtained when the degrade factor was lower. Looking at the relative signals of the Echo traces recorded between the different days of experimentation with this project, it all made sense statistically speaking. Per Section 26, if traces in the -21/-24 dB range could be obtained with a degrade factor of -5.9dB, in theory, with a degrade factor of -11.3 dB (5.4 dB worse), I should be able to see traces in the -26/-29 dB range. That is exactly what was observed.
These results are extremely exciting to me!!! I could not be more enthousiastic about this whole project. Now I need to do some statistical analysis on all this data and come up with mathematical and predictive models. Based on this and the previous experiments done, when the degrade factor is lower, meaning closer to normal average conditions, I should be able to disconnect one of the 2X14 RPOL antenna and use only one of the 14-element as TX source (~2.85 dB penalty), and RX with the same 13-element RPOL LFA and still obtained recordable Echo traces. In order words, it should be possible to push the envelop to the extreme and get Echo traces from a medium size Single Yagi as TX source to a Single Yagi as RX source! Many medium size Single Yagi to Single EME QSO have been realized before, but these are considered fairly "exceptional events", especially if NO Ground Gain is involved at all. Let's see if the practice will confirm these exciting assumptions, and perhaps medium size Single Yagi to Single Yagi EME QSO can be proven to be much more consistently doable then previously thought using this Moon Echo Project combined to RPOL capability...
***WARNING: For Best Resolution for the videos below, it is critical to select 720p HD resolution in the youtube "settings" at bottom right of the player. The 360p default setting won't yield good enough resolution to see the details. It will take several seconds before the High Resolution kicks in, so you will need to restart the video from the beginning when the High Resolution is active and select to view the video in "Full Screen Mode" for best experience...***