I initiated OPTICKS in October 2009 in collaboration with radio amateurs based at the Dwingeloo radio telescope (CAMRAS), with the proposal of sending visual data to the moon and back in form of radio signals. During my artist residency at the Dwingeloo radio telescope, the enthusiastic CAMRAS team, guided by Mr Jan van Muijlwijk, successfully moonbounced images for the first time in history, using HAM radio equipment. The first image received by Moonbounce was sent from a large radio antenna in Switzerland and received back by the CAMRAS team on the 6 December 2009.
The project uses open source softwares. During the live performance, the MMSSTV (Makoto Mori Slow Scan TV) software allows converting images into sounds that are then converted into radio signals, transmitted to the moon, reflected by its surface and finally reconverted into sounds then back into images. The MMSSTV software produces different sounds according to the colours reproduced.
The ‘noise’ showing in any moonbounced image is caused by the great distance travelled by the radio signals to the Moon and back (approximately 768.000 km) and by the poor reflective qualities of the Moon’s surface. When the radio signals hit the Moon’s surface, they are scattered in all directions so that only a small percentage of the original signals is reflected back on Earth.
The OPTICKS show with live transmission via the moon can only be conducted during specific days, due to the challenging position of the moon in relation to the earth.
People who have been collaborating in OPTICKS:
Daniela de Paulis (author of the project and visual artist IT/NL) www.danieladepaulis.com
Jan van Muijlwijk (CAMRAS radio amateur, NL, www.camras.nl)
Nando Pellegrini (radio amateur, IT)
Howard Ling (radio amateur, UK)
Armand Budzianowski (radio amateur, PL)
EME group from Klodzko, PL (Piotr Matuszny SQ6OPG, Andrzej Matuszny SP6JLW, Jerzy Maslowski SP6OPN)
Marty Quinn (sound designer, USA) www.drsrl.com
Fabio Santesarti (sound engineer, IT)
Ard Hartsuijker (CAMRAS public relations, NL, www.camras.nl)
Bruce Halász (radio amateur, Brazil)
Daniel Gautschi (radio amateur, CH)
More information can be found on:
Background image courtesy of JAXA/NHK