A Global Chinese Space Based Short Message System

Recent media reports indicate the US has developed a way to track the recent Chinese airships passing over North America. Here, a hypothesis is offered on how this may work and how observers can contribute.

In July of 2022, the Chinese commercial JILIN Earth imaging constellation of satellites was found to be emitting strange short burst data signals on spectrum reserved for the mobile-satellite (Earth-to-Space and visa-versa) radio service. This observation while curious at first caused the author to reconsider the meaning of that observation after the recent arrival of a large Chinese airship over North America and how it may communicate with its handlers as a bit more research revealed a clear connection to the Chinese BeiDou satellite navigation system and the emissions from JILIN.

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Mysterious ‘Pips’ from the Chinese JILIN Constellation

Why is an imaging satellite constellation acting like a mobile-satellite communications system?

China’s first self-developed commercial remote sensing satellite system known as JILIN is sending strange wideband data pips in a quiet piece of spectrum on L-band. The JILIN system is operated by Chang Guang Satellite Technology Company in Beijing. No public references have been found by the author about what these emissions from the satellites purpose is.

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Chang’e 5 Returns to the Moon

Chang’e 5 has quietly departed from the Sun-Earth L1 point to enter a distant retrograde orbit (DRO) of the Moon, a first.

Pre-empting NASA’s planned 1st use of the orbit during Exploration Mission 1 later this year.

Silence from China.

Off Station

In mid August 2021, the Chang’e 5 service module without any notice was noted to not be on station near the Sun-Earth L1 point where it had been since mid-March 2021. Observers were quick to reacquire the spacecraft’s X-band beacon and it was not long before it was clear from the data that Chang’e 5 was headed back to the Earth-Moon system where it would ultimately enter a Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO) of the Moon.

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Eating Static from the Moon…

Xinhua reported today that Chang’e 4 entered lunar orbit at about 08:39 UTC on Dec 12th.  No amateur observers reported observing the event; however, three highly competent amateur observers in Europe shared observations hours after the lunar orbit insertion burn was executed. No evidence of a signal from Chang’e 4 has been noted since my loss of signal earlier on Dec 12th.  I later conducted similar observations and searched around the Moon for the signal and found nothing we can relate to Chang’e 4. Only signals from Chang’e 5T-1 and Queqiao where noted.

[UPDATED – Dec 13th, 2018] Continue reading “Eating Static from the Moon…”