Science article for 1 April 2003 by Dave, AD7DB
I guess now is as good a time as any to reveal the secret that the designers of AO-40 have kept quiet until now.
There exists on the AO-40 satellite a prototype anti-jammer device. It's called LEILA, which stands for Laser Equipment for Immediate Lid Annihilation!
It transmits a courtesy siren noise on the downlink frequency that the jammer is using,
as a warning, and then fires a 10 terrawatt energy pulse at his QTH.
If you have been a regular user of AO-40 you may have heard LEILA in action.
What you may not have known until now was WHY you often never heard that jammer since.
This is why.
This image from Denver was taken while LEILA was firing on an inconsiderate ham who
was using too much power on the uplink.
The odd holes in the high altitude cloud layer caused by the incredible thermal effects
of the laser burst.
This is something the government's been trying to keep quiet about,
and it's raised some attention at some
Unfortunately it's not always safe to hang around a lot of hams.
This was the scene at last year's
Some lid in the flea market area was showing off his mobile satellite setup and
attracted the attention of LEILA, which tried to zero in on the guy.
He ceased transmitting, but not before the orbital laser had burned up several rows of vendors
while trying to pinpoint his location. He was thrown out by Security and the
hams in the area made it clear he's not welcome to come around to any of their
Have a Happy April, you fool!
Copyright © 2003 David G. Bartholomew, AD7DB
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