Welcome to the Home of the Desert RATS

The topic will be how NASA/JPL communicates with satellites and space probes, particularly with the Voyager spacecrafts at 13,000,000,000 miles away. A deep space net (DSN) was established in the early satellite days, and had its 50th anniversary last year.  The DSN consists of three stations spaced about 120 ° around the earth, at Goldstone, CA, Madrid, Spain, and Canberra, Australia.  Each has a large tracking antenna with 230 foot-diameter, and a number of smaller antennas.  The facilities will be described.  They handle the command and control of scores of satellites and space probes including the two Voyager spacecraft, the Mars rovers, the Mars orbiters, the lunar orbiters, the mission to Pluto, the Cassini spacecraft circling Saturn, the comet missions and many others.  These will be briefly enumerated.

Dr. Richter has a PhD from Cal Tech in Pasadena. (Chemistry, Physics, and Electrical Engineering)  Then he went to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which became part of NASA.  While there, he headed up the development of the America’s first earth satellite, Explorer I.

Dr. Henry Richter was born in Long Beach, California, and served a short tour of duty in the U.S. Navy in World War II.  From there he received a BS and PhD (Chemistry, Physics, and Electrical Engineering) from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena California.   Then he went to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which became part of NASA.  While there, he headed up the development of the America’s first earth satellite, Explorer I.  He then oversaw the scientific instrumentation for the Ranger, Mariner, and Surveyor Programs.  From JPL, he went to Electro-Optical Systems becoming a Vice President and Technical Director.  Next was a staff position with UCLA as Development Manager of the Mountain Park Research Campus.  He then owned an electronics manufacturing business, and afterwards became the Communications Engineer for the L.A. County Sheriffs Department.  Since 1977, he has been a communications consultant to Public Safety organizations, now retired.

The Desert R.A.T.S. club is proud to announce the updated Palm Springs Hamfest website. The Hamfest will be at the Palm Springs Air Museum. Check out the website for all the details. Click on the image to go to the website.




Members of the Desert RATS club try our best to live by this code at all times.

The Radio Amateur Is:

* CONSIDERATE…never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.

* LOYAL…offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.

* PROGRESSIVE…with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and knowledge above reproach.

* FRIENDLY…slow and patient operating when requested; friendly
advise and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.

* BALANCED…radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.

* PATRIOTIC…station and skill always ready for service to country
and community.


Location of the Monthly Meetings