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Re: Speaking of Big Ears






>From: Jim Diggs <jimdiggs@mpinet.net>
>To: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org
>Subject: [amsat-bb] Speaking of Big Ears
>Date: Sun, 07 Jan 2001 21:15:34 -0500
>
No your not making this up...I've been to the "site" such as what is left of 
it.

I believe (if we are talking about the same place and your location is 
pretty close) that you are talking about one of two possible sites (there 
were a couple out there)...

The site you are I think talking about was a Navy/USAF project to have 
"secure" com via moonbounce.  (I'll think of the initials here shortly its 
been a long day flying the airplane)...  Anyway there were as I recall (and 
its been awhile since I researched this) 6 stations set up in CONUS and 
Hawaii and there were smaller terminals set up on several Navy ships, 
primarily AGR's (the Pueblo and Liberty were such a ship...the Pueblo was 
boarded and captured by the NKoreans and the Liberty was shot up by the 
IDF).  I KNOW that Liberty had such a system on board....

It wasnt very successful on the ships.  The hydraulics to keep the antenna 
pointed at the Moon were "demanding", I recall one person I interviewed said 
that they finally welded the connectors togeter to stop the leaks...but it 
was high speed for the era and while anyone could hear it it was by that era 
secure.  We are talking LOTS of power on both ends and very very big 
antennas.

But if the system was working AND the Moon was up...it beat the heck out of 
HF and the USN FLTSATCOMS were somewhat in the future.  Some of the surplus 
parts soldier on in both amateur, semi profesional, institution,a nd "other" 
installations.  I have some parts of it...

There is another candiate but depending on where you actually were thats my 
best one.



Robert Oler WB5MZO Houston TX

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