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DL0ESA Germany flag Germany

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QSL: Bureau, Direct with SASE, LoTW, eQSL, Clublog, HRDlog

Page managed by DL5FAB Lookups: 9341


DL0ESA is the callsign of the European Space Agency - Operations Centre (ESOC) Radioclub in Darmstadt, Germany.

ESA logo EU Flag

The chief operator of the club call is Manfred Lugert DL5FAB.
Other active operators are Javier Roldan EA1HEO and  Rolf Maarschalkerweerd DK7FU.
Casual operators are Alessandro Donati DJ0MDO, Graham Hoey G4JCF, Norbert Schmitt DK6ZP and Age Riise LA5PMA.


The radioclub is member of the  DARC_logo (DOK F42 Griesheim).                  

The club is supported by the ESA's Sports, Social and Cultural Committe (SSCC).


The ESOC Radioclub is mainly active on HF bands on SSB and Digital modes. And seldomly also in CW.

We typically activate the station for major contests and for special events happening at ESA and in particular at ESOC (e.g. for celebrating/promoting special satellite operations activities).

QSL policy:

- Paper QSL:

  • For contacts performed during contests, since September 2012 we simply reply to the QSLs we receive (either via Bureau or Direct (if received with SASE)).
  • For the Galileo events in 2013 and 2014, we sent a special QSL card to all the stations contacted via GlobalQSL (Bureau)... plus we replied to all direct QSLs received with SASE.

- Electronic QSL:

  • From April 2011 onwards we also upload all our QSOs in LoTW, eQSL, Clublog and HRDLog.


We support the DX_Code_logo

We are a member of European PSK Club logoEPC#24584, DMC#08000,  WSC#0866 and  FH#5156.  


We also operate in the VHF/UHF bands.


We receive weather data from geostationary Eumetsat Meteorological Satellites (Ku Band Rx with a parabolic dish) (project from our member Mark Drapes).

We support the Amateur Radio on ISS (ARISS) Organisation in planning, preparing and executing their activities and hold the license for the German Astronauts on-board ISS DP0ISS.

In ESOC there is also a
GENSO Station for Amateur Satellite tracking.



HF Shack Set-up:


- an Opti-Beam 9-5 for 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10m  with rotor RC5A-3

- a homemade crossed dipoles for 80m and 40m

These antennas are installed on the top floor of a multi-story metal parking deck as per photo below:

DL0ESA antenna on top of the parking lot


The equipment is hosted in a container next to the parking deck.
The shack is build around a HF transceiver
Kenwood TS-870 powered with a power supply Voltcraft DC 13.8V/20A.

A laptop HP Probook 6460b supports us for the propagation stimations, rig control, electronic log and digital modes operation (HamCAP, HRD/DM780, UCX, N1MM+, ROS, MMTTY, fldigi,...).

Since 2013 we have a Power Amplifier ALPIN 100 (providing up to legal power of 750W) and an external SWR & Power Meter CN-801.

HF rig set-up

DL0ESA shack diagram

As a back-up, we have a HF transceiver ICOM IC-740 with Power Supply IC-PS15 and an external Antenna Tuner Daiwa CNW418.


VHF/UHF Shack Set-up:


  • a vertical monopole (for both VHF and UHF) 
    VHF-UHF monopole antenna and Ku dish antenna


  • triplexer 144MHz, 440MHz & 1.2GHz
  • VHF transceiver ICOM IC-275H 
  • TNC TNC2S (for APRS)
  • laptop Compaq nc6220 (UIView, YAAC, APRS32, UISS, gpredict, Orbitron,...)
  • V-UHF FM transceiver Kenwood TM-451E
  • UHF transceiver ICOM IC-471E (back-up)

The equipment is powered by the power supply Voltcraft also used for the HF equipment.

APRS set-up













Test equipment:

Since 2012 the club owns an antenna analyser RigExpert AA 170.
In October 2015, most members of the club helped moving some test equipment from a second container (which needed to be refurbished) to the operations container. The activity served to dispose some very old equipment and to inventorise the remaining elements.
The club owns some classical RF test equipment (Synthesizer, Frequency Counter, Spectrum Analyser, 5&10MHz reference, AM/FM/PM modulator, time counter, multimeters, Time over radio receiver, Network analiser,...). They are old... but still functional!
Javier and Manfred took the oportunity to host most of these test equipment into 2 existing racks so that measurements can be performed easily  in case of need and also for future transportation of the equipment.
Test Equipment (Rack 1) 


Activities 2016:

2016-05-24 Galileo FOC LEOP7
DL0ESA was active on the air to celebrate the successfull launch of 2 new Galileo satellites from Kourou in French Guiana on board of a Soyuz rocket. Javier was active for around 3 and a hald hours in 17m and 20m band with the amplifier. Propagation was not great, but 133 QSOs were made (mainly with USA, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico). Thanks also to some European Stations that replied to our call and specially to contacts with British Virgin Islands, Honduras and Costa Rica. We hope you all enjoyed the contacts!


2016-05-21 80m Baltic Contest
DL0ESA took the part in this contest on SSB mode for almost 2h. With 100W and the dipole Javier was scanning the 80m band. A total of 39 QSOs were done mainly with stations from northen Europe (specially Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania).


2016-05-21 Feld-Hell Sprint
DL0ESA took the part in the FHC Sprint (2h) contest of May dedicated to Dayton Hamvention. Propagation with USA was closed. Javier was active and 8 contacts were made within Europe and 1 with Bolivia!


2016-04-23 SP DX RTTY Contest
Javier was active in the 24h RTTY contest organised by the Polish Radio Amateur Association. He was operating for aprox 12 hours in the 15, 20, 40 and 80m bands with the power amplifier. A total of 261 RTTY contacts were performed. New DXCC Grenada reached!
2016 SP DX Contest - Javier (EA1HEO)

Also, UMTS connection is again operational.

2016-04-18 World Radio Amateur Day
On April 18 1925 the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was formed in Paris. Every year radioamateurs worldwide celebrate this and they are active on the waves. The ESOC Radioclub also promoted this day and Javier was active 1h on PSK31 mode.

2016 World Amateur Radio Day - Javier (EA1HEO)

2016-04-16 Feld-Hell Sprint
DL0ESA took the part in the FHC Sprint (4h) contest of April. Propagation with USA was not great and Javier was active only for less than 1h... but the first 2 contacts on this digital mode by DL0ESA were performed also exchanging our FHC membership number.

2016-04-10 SSTV
Javier has received SSTV using HRD and DM780. Also a website has been set up where the latest images transmitted and received from ESOC can be seen.

2016-04-02&03 EA RTTY Contest
Manfred and Javier were active in the 24h RTTY contest organised by the Spanish Radio Amateur Union (URE). After great preparation from Manfred, all was ready with the new laptop purchased last December to have DL0ESA back on the air on digital modes. After 11h of operations alternating in front of the radio between Manfred and Javier in 20, 40, 80 and 15m bands more than 100 contacts were performed. All the details here.

EA RTTY Contest 2016 - Javier (EA1HEO)

EA RTTY contest 2016 Manfred (DL5FAB) and Javier (EA1HEO)

2016-02-16 APRS set up
DL0ESA APRS beacon is on the air! Javier prepared the set-up for APRS reception and transmision this week reusing some old elements present in our container. 

2016-02-10&11 ARRL School Club Roundup
Javier was active in the 20m and 15m bands during aprox. 5 hours between Wednesday and Thrusday after work. A total of 89 QSOs were made mainly with USA and Canada. 11 schools/high-school/colleges and 1 radioclub were reached.

Javier (EA1HEO) during ARRL School Club Roundup
1st place achived in our category!

Activities Previous years:

In 2015:

QSOs 2011 - 2015

More statistics can be found here.

2015-10-24&25 CQ WW DX SSB Contest:
Javier was active in the 15m band during 5 hours between Saturday and Sunday during the contest. A total of 120 QSOs were made.

2015-08-15 Spanish Municipalities (CME):
Javier was active in 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m during several hours during the contest. A total of 261 QSOs were made.

CME 2015 DL0ESA Op.Javier (EA1HEO)

1st place achived in our category (DX station, all bands, low power (<100W))!


2015-07-12 IARU HF World Championship:

Javier was active in 20m band during aprox 8.5h. A total of 104 QSOs were made.
27th Position out of 66 in Germany in our category.

2015-07-01 Canada Day Contest:

Javier was active in 20m band during aprox 4h (100W and Yagi). A total of 121 QSOs were made.
RAC Canda Day Contest DL0ESA award

2015-06-28 King of Spain SSB contest:

Javier was active in 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m during most of the contest period. A total of 328 QSOs were made.

2015 URE King of Spain Contest - Javier (EA1HEO)

7th place (out of 179 participants in the same category) was achived.

King-of-Spain-Contest Diploma

2015-03-08 ARRL International DX SSB Contest:

Javier was active in 20m for a couple of hours. 25 QSOs were made with Canadian and North American colleagues.
3rd position in Germany in our category.


2015-01-17 and 18 Hungarian Contest

Javier was active on 80m band with 100W and the dipole. A total of 78 QSOs were made.

2015 HA-DX_Contest_Certificate

In 2014:

1st of August until 15th of September 2014 - GALILEO FOC-1 LAUNCH

The present activation took place around the launch of the first Galileo Full Operating Capability (FOC) satellites with a Soyuz rocket from Kourou (French Guyana).
Launch is foreseen on 21st of August. Activity will last during the whole LEOP and fine orbiting positioning (expected from the 1st of August until the 15th of September 2014).
Giuliano and Paul are already in Kourou for launch preparation and they are going to activate the station in their free time with Giuliano's callsign FY/PA3FHD. Joerg is also going to join them around mid of August, so there will be the chance to hear him on air with his callsign FY/DL3LUM.

Also the other three ESA stations (PI9ESA, DL0ESA and IZ0FEJ) will be active in the period for the award, compatibly with holidays period of various operators.

Details were announced on https://sites.google.com/site/hamradiogalileo/

DL0ESA shack. Rolf testing Amplifier

In 2013:

2013 Small Kids' Day:

Alessandro was active with several kids in our container.

Alessandro (DJ0MDO) during 2013 Kid's Day Activity


27th September 2013 - European Researchers' Night event.

CERN, ESA, ESO and UNESCO in partnership with the Italian Institute of Astrophysics invited the public to an exceptional event taking place simultaneously in Geneva, Paris and Bologna.

World known scientists and protagonists of the Higgs and Plank research took audiences on a spectacular journey back in space and time, through particle physics (the infinitely small) and cosmology and astrophysics (the infinitely large). Viewers in local and remote audiences experienced the moments of our primordial origins from a sudden expansion of space and transformation of energy into matter at the birth of the universe, 13.7 billion years ago.

Videoconferences linked the three European cities to ESA’s Planck’s Operations Centre at the European Space Operations Centre ESOC, in in Darmstadt Germany, with Nazzareno Mandolesi, Principal Investigator for Planck’s LFI instrument, and to remote venues, such as ESO’s ALMA telescope site in Chile, to the Large Hadron Collider tunnel, 100 m underground, and to Luca Parmitano, ESA’s astronaut on the International Space Station.

Background information and live stream under: http://www.esa.int/Highlights/Origins_2013

The ESOC Radio Club with its club station DL0ESA was active during the event together with the ESA clubstations at ESRIN (II0ESA) and ESTEC (PI9ESA).

Contacts for this event counted for the Galileo Award.


Galileo related Ham Radio Events 2013

The Galileo satellite navigation system programme faced important milestones during 2013. Radio amateurs of the European Space Agency decided to participate on those achiements with some special amateur radio activities. All radio clubs of ESA (ESTEC, ESOC, ESRIN) were activated during those events. During launches of Galileo satellites from our space port in French Guiana a station in Kourou was active (see also the 2012 event). In addition, all 2013 radio activities from Kourou under the Galileo programme will count for this event. These radio activities will be performed by ESA staff and engineers, many of them directly involved into the design, development, deployment and integration of the system. Activation will be done during staff's spare time!
Radio bands and modes: SSB, CW, DigiModes primarily on HF-bands.
Manfred (DL5FAB) operating during Galileo Activation

12 March 2013 - First Galileo autonomous position, time, velocity (PVT) fix

Radio contacts were confirmed with a special Galileo QSL card through Global QSL or direct.
DL0ESA Galileo Activities QSL card
Event Manager: Jörg, PA1MUC / DL3LUM
QSL-Manager: Alberto, IW1FNW
Award-Manager: Alberto, IW1FNW
Webmaster: Luis, CT2INY
Station responsibles:
DL0ESA (ESOC): Manfred, DL5FAB
FY/PA3FHD: Giuliano, PA3FHD

 Manfred (DL5FAB) and Javier (EA1HEO) operating during Galileo First position Activity

In 2012:

27 and 28 October 2012 - CQ contest WW DX SSB

Manfred, Javier and Age operated DL0ESA on all the available bands after antenna works (80m, 40m, 20, 15m and 10m) with a good result  with 100W. We got the following certificate:

2012 WW DX Contest SSB certificate


May 2012 - Mounting dipoles for 40 and 80m:

Javier (EA1HEO) in the mast replacing dipoles

HF Antennas final setup with Optibeam 9-5 + 40&80m homemade dipoles

Rolf (DK7FU), Age (LA5PMA) and Javier (EA1HEO) after the activity

(Rolf, Age and Javier after activity was completed)


21st April 2012 - The new OptiBeam9-5 is mounted

Javier, Manfred, Artur, Alessandro and Boris mounting new Yagi Antenna


25 March 2012 - CQ WW WPX SSB

Javier (EA1HEO) operated DL0ESA on 40m for some hours. We got the following certificate

2012 WW WPX Contest SSB certificate


In 2011:

2011-10-22 - CQ WW DX SSB Contest

Rolf, Javier and Age operated DL0ESA in 40 and 10m bands with the just mounted dipoles.

Age (LA5PMA) and Javier (EA1HEO) during 2011 CQ WW DX SSB contest

Age and Javier on the second day of the contest. Photo by Rolf.
2011 WW DX Contest SSB certificate


2011-10-29 - installation crossed home made dipoles (10m and 40m).

DL0ESA is back on the air from ESOC!!!

Javier (EA1HEO) climbed in the tower helped by Rolf (DK7FU)

2011-10-22 installation of cables

2011-06 movement of the tower to the center of the parking slot.

2011-05-09 installation cable duct

Rolf (DK7FU) with 2 members of the Cybernetics club

Rolf (DK7FU) supervising the cable duck



In 2005:

Rolf (DK7FU) operating DL0ESA in 2005

8th Septembre 2004 - Contact DL0ESA with the ISS - NA1ISS:


Video from the contact of DL0ESA with NA1ISS: http://esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/ISS18092004.avi

Further references to this event: http://www.f42.info/uploads/images/143/ISSF42-final2.pdf

Last checks before the ISS path

During the contact with ISS

Boris Smeds preparing contact with ISS in 2004


GENSO Station:

GENSO room. David and Norbert



Other European Space Agency radioclub stations at other ESA's establishments are:

PI9ESA at ESA's Technical Centre (ESTEC), Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

II0ESA at ESA's Earth Observation Centre (ESRIN), Italy.

7353936 Last modified: 2016-06-01 20:35:23, 35213 bytes

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