SLIM is a small-scale lunar lander designed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to precisely land on the Moon surface. SLIM successfully landed on the Moon on January 20 2024 but, since the spacecraft’s solar panels were not facing the intended direction, after spacecraft ran on battery power for several hours, controllers decided to turn it off to allow for a possible recovery of electricity. But on January 28 JAXA team confirmed that they successfully established communication with SLIM and immediately resumed operations: in fact we recorded the signal from SLIM on the Moon surface, with our INTREPID 500-12 5.0m ground station for S/X-band!
Here you can see SLIM radio signal in S band captured on January 28th around 10.30pm UT with INTREPID 500-12 installed in Italy, a 5 meter diameter ground station operating in S/X band. The waterfall plot was obtained by processing the acquired signal with a 131k channel FFT, on a bandwidth of 2.5 MHz, obtaining spectra with a resolution of 19 Hz/ch. The main carrier is located in the center of the band, at about 2212 MHz with a SNR of 15 dB. From both sides, at a distance of approximately 680 kHz and 10 dB weaker, it is possible to see clearly the 2 subcarriers. No modulation is visible.
The graph shows a preliminary analysis of the SLIM Doppler on the data acquired by the INTREPID 500-12 radio telescope, in S band, from 21:39 to 21:52 UT (907s) on January 28. The Doppler was calculated with respect to the main carrier, with a resolution of 0.08 Hz/ch, at a frequency of approximately 2212 MHz. The data show that the signal was transmitted from a fixed object on the surface of the Moon (with which it shares the Doppler, and which differs from the model calculated by Horizon of a delta that is compatible with the “double doppler” effects of an object locked with a ground station).
If you’re looking for a ground station for radio frequency space communications, consider opting for our INTREPID ground station antenna systems. These ground stations include a specially designed antenna tracking system to automatically track satellites based on TLE. Explore all the available models of our INTREPID ground station antenna systems by clicking here. We provides comprehensive services, including design, shipment, installation, and training. From conceptualization to on-site training, we are here to support every phase of your mission.