The next time you’re accosted by a conspiracy theorist who claims that ‘those space agencies faked reception of Rosetta’s wake-up signal on 20 January…’, just show ’em these!
Amateur radio astronomer Bertrand Pinel, located near Castelnaudary, France, 65km from Toulouse, successfully tracked Rosetta on 21 January at 10:00 UTC using his home-rigged 3.5m dish antenna and radio receiver.
After receiving Rosetta’s X-band signal, he kindly sent in these photos to document his success. He said he was as excited as a kid at Christmas while waiting for his own ‘AOS’ using his (mini) tracking station (Can we call it DSA4? – Ed).
Thank you, Bertrand, for sharing your excellent work!
BTW: Bertrand’s a relative expert at ‘amateur’ radio tracking; he most recently picked up the radio Doppler as ESA’s Mars Express looped past Phobos on 29 December (read and listen via the MEX blog).