ICE Spacecraft Signal Detection from the Allen Telescope Array

Jon Richards, The SETI Institute


The ICE spacecraft (see below) has recently approached Earth close enough to be detectable at the Allen Telescope Array (ATA). We have successfully detected the ICE spacecraft carrier signal using the SonATA (SETI on the ATA) signal detection equipment and will share the details here.

icee-nasa-100x128The technical community has been all abuzz about the return of the ICE spacecraft, formerly named the International Earth-Sun Explorer-3 (ICEE-3). It was launched in 1978 to study Earth’s magnetosphere and its interaction with the solar wind. The ICE spacecraft has been far away and out of contact for a long time and it is now quickly approaching earth once again. NASA has said it no longer has the equipment to communicate with the spacecraft. Radio enthusiasts around the world are trying to figure out a way to contact it and tell it to start dumping any data it may have gathered. The Bochum Observatory in Germany has been able to detect the ICE spacecraft with their 20 meter dish. Others are sure to follow.

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