DIETER Groundstation

DIane Emitted Transmissions Earthbound Receiver

In order to receive the signals transmitted by the DIANE experiment, we need a groundstation. As we don’t know it’s exact location in the air and how the sending antenna is oriented, a receiving antenna with a big half power beam width and possibly circular polarisation is needed. These two requirements are fulfilled by a crossed dipole antenna design. We chose the W-210 Trap Dipole 20/15/10m by WiMo Antennen & Elektronik GmbH of which we simply put two together with a 90 degree phase shifter (just a cable with with quarter wavelength) and a signal combiner. DIANE is transmitting at 21 MHz, which results in a quarter wavelength of 3.75 m. The resulting signal is then fed into a HackRF SDR and decoded on a Laptop with gqrx.

Putting up the antennas and masts at such a high latitude (Esrange facilities are 67┬░ N, about 200 km north the arctic circle) requires quite an effort, the radar hill where we placed the groundstation had a frozen gravel ground, requiring drilling to get our ground anchors into the ground. It took us a whole day to drill all the holes.